You get what you get and you don’t get upset
Oh man that line resonated so hard this Christmas.
Well, I’ll tell you what we all got and that was the flu. What we had to learn to navigate was sometimes you can’t control the situation you simply need to just roll with it. This past Christmas Eve I was hosting our family. That’s right about 18 people were in and out of our house for a few hours that day. I made a roast, baked ziti, garlic string beans, about a trillion cookies, and a homemade red velvet cake with cream cheese frosting. We do not do the Feast of the Seven Fishes because I’m allergic.
Dinner went well, everyone seemed to be enjoying themselves and out of nowhere Lily announced she wanted to go to bed. When she asked me to lay down, we had the following exchange.
Me: “Do you want to lay down because you want Santa to come?”
Lily: “I do want Santa to come but I just want to lay down, my head hurts.”
Me: “What about a slice of cake or a cookie?”
(Totally an Italian mother thing … “oh you’re not good let me feed you…”)
Lily: “Mommy, I just don’t feel good.”
No sooner than I heard those words my gut instincts kicked in. Crap … I thought to myself … I went over to her felt her head and she was warm. I took her temperature and she was at 100.8, so I gave her some Motrin and let her lay down. The thoughts in my mind were all over the place, was it COVID-19? Was it flu? Was it just a fluke? Did I just contaminate all my family in two hours time?
But I had to carry on, I was hosting. So, we had dessert, I cleaned up, we got the kiddos to bed so Santa could make his way to the Griffiths homestead.
At about 2 a.m. I checked in on Lily. Her whole body was hot, her fever was 103.8 and I was a nervous wreck. I woke her up, have her some Tylenol and patted her down with a cool rag on her face and neck while she slept restlessly. Two hours later the fever wasn’t going below 102 even with medicine. So Lily and I ventured out to the living room. I allowed her to open her stocking and she was just so out of it. She wanted to unwrap things but she couldn’t. We both barely slept that night. I think I maybe got two hours total.
At about 6 a.m. or a little before, everyone woke up and unwrapped their gifts. But I could visibly see Lily wasn’t OK and I knew if my heart we wouldn’t be doing anything we had planned. I knew I needed to take Lily to the doctor and the only thing open was the hospital.
We were lucky Aunt April was working to keep Lily calm and that the hospital was pretty quiet. The staff was wonderful, quick and warm. After about an hour of being there we found out that Lily had the flu.
She was visibly upset but calm. She apologized for getting sick which made me feel horrible. I just assured her know matter what we would enjoy our day.
We headed home and got settled in. Lily laid down with me and my aunt and cousin brought us dinner. We ate off paper plates in the living room and canned the Lenox.
We watched a few Christmas movies and just rested the best we could. Later that night I started feeling achy and I could see Keira wasn’t looking good either. For the next 4 days the flu managed to hit almost everyone in our home but we actually did something different. We rested. We let the mess build up, we ordered soup for dinner for the next two nights and continued to rest.
I cannot sit still. It literally kills me on the inside to see mess and not be able to clean it. But I also knew our health was important and I couldn’t afford for anyone else to go down. Christmas didn’t feel like a holiday this year. But it did feel cozy. Other than feeling achy and tired we were able to be together. Thankfully Lily was well enough to come home and rest. I just told myself It could have been so much worse than it was. It just made me realize when things go bad and you can’t control them just do what you never imagined possible, roll with it. It was refreshing to not fight the outcome, just to embrace it, get through it and recover.
Loraine Griffiths is a fifth-generation Hammontonian, graphic designer, wife and mother of three. She can be reached through email at LifeWithLoraine@gmail.com.