Sunday, May 1, 2011

No Cure But Sympathy

My last blog was true at the time. For a while, my malady seemed a respite --- a break from the seemingly perpetual round of things to do. I had gone to the doctor feeling ill – had that illness confirmed – had medication prescribed. It was an odd sort of validation.

I stayed home, rested, read. Luxuriated in torpor.

As of yesterday, my malady was old. I wanted to be able to do something. I tried; venturing to a store only to have to admit that I didn’t feel well enough to be there. Not well enough to shop! That’s practically un-American.

Later, my nephew called to relay some family news. I tried to tell him I still did not feel well. He dismissed my malady in a most matter-of-fact manner. Noting the worst was undoubtedly over, he said something to the effect that now it’s just a cold.

Well yes, I guess so. But I haven’t been with other people for almost a week. Laryngitis precluded phone calls. And cats don’t quite compensate.

Being alone had lost its charm.

I just felt deprived. Abandoned. It would have been nice if he had asked if there was anything he could do. (There is, but he lives too far away to do it.) But what I really wanted was some tiny little indication that he gave a damn. Just a: “Sorry, Aunt Mim, I hope you feel better soon.”

Sometimes that’s all it takes to make someone’s day a little brighter: a warm smile, a casual compliment, a modicum of sympathy.

People need to be acknowledged.

I’m going to try to go to church today. I’ll try to remember that, try to practice the smiles, the compliments, the sympathetic phrases. Who knows? Maybe it will be reciprocal. But whether it is or not, I’ll bet it makes me feel better.

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