The last week has been a little lacking in terms of light. I’ve spent the last several days feeling pretty miserable. I have been sick for a little over three weeks now, but when I woke up Wednesday morning I could tell that it had started to develop into something more serious. I watched a friend’s three year old for 12 hours for her on Wednesday while she attended her grandmother’s funeral. I was glad to do it because it was an opportunity for me to shine my light through service and because I love her and her family. He was not really any trouble, but by Wednesday evening I was really not feeling well and I was physically exhausted. My 9 year old was supposed to attend a Valentine’s Day party at church. My other boys’ activities for the evening had been cancelled. I would have had to bring our little visitor with me to take my 9 year old to the party and I just didn’t have it in me. I texted my friend, his teacher, to let her know he wouldn’t be able to make it and then I made some homemade caramel corn to make it up to him for having to miss the party (because I really did feel bad about it) and let the boys watch a movie on Netflix.
I expected understanding and maybe even sympathy, but instead I got a several texts from my son’s teacher expressing disappointment about my son missing the party. The last one was a text as I was going to bed that expressed that they had “really MISSED” him and that she was “upset” that I hadn’t called her to pick him up (I had explained in an earlier text that I hadn’t planned on NOT going until the last minute). I cried. I felt helpless. I felt like my apologies weren’t adequate. I felt rejected rather than validated. I felt like the 12 hours I had just spent in service wasn’t sufficient and that maybe I should have done more. I felt like I let down my friend. I felt like I wasn’t enough.
The next morning I woke up feeling worse physically. Because I felt bad physically, I was having a hard time emotionally as well. Every time I thought about the text exchange I wanted to cry. I drove myself to urgent care where they looked me over and immediately ordered a chest x-ray to rule out pneumonia. Luckily that was clear, but I left with prescriptions for antibiotics and a rescue inhaler for a nasty case of bronchitis. I came home and have spent the last three days in bed. My ribs hurt from coughing. I have had a fever several times and have just felt generally like I was hit by a truck.
I haven’t heard anything else from my son’s teacher–my friend. I have decided to let it go. I understand her disappointment. I love her, but I don’t feel like I owe her any more apologies. Now I am on day four of the antibiotics and while I am still not well, I feel a definite improvement.
A few things have brought light to me in these past few dark days: talking to my family on the phone–my mom and dad are always supportive and loving no matter what they are dealing with in their own lives; my two best friends who are always there for me, never judge me and make me laugh when I need it most; and my Savior. As I was reading my scriptures this morning I felt His love for me. He understands. He understands what it feels like to be tired, and sick. He understands feelings of inadequacy (not because He has ever been inadequate, but simply because he had to feel those feelings so He would know how to help us). He understands rejection. He understands sorrow. He understands me. He understands. He is my light. Thinking about him makes me feel better. It makes me feel loved, and it makes me feel like I am enough because he makes up all the places where I lack. I’m so grateful that I can feel his light when I am having dark days.