After three weeks, I’m ready. It has been a disastrous time. I want to say it was the flu, but who knows for sure. At one point I feared it was pneumonia, maybe even something deeper that I dared not even stare at. Since Peni’s passing, I fear any illness. For as you know, a simple cough on her part lead to her death a few months later. All it took was one trip out on the ocean, and a vulgar display of indispensable joy. I didn’t have a jacket, and found myself battered by 50 degree winds from the north for the better part of the day. It was the morning following that I realized something was amiss. Within two evenings I had yet to rise from bed, could hardly breathe, woke painfully to a body whose joints dared not move.
For nearly 2 weeks I didn’t bathe, I couldn’t get out of bed. I ate rarely, sipped the occasional tea and soup provided me and would slink back under the covers. Two quilts, a wool blanket, flannel pajamas, and a pair of heavy socks couldn’t keep me warm enough, yet I couldn’t stop sweating. I truly did get scared. Watching old “Murder, She Wrote” reruns brought back a flood of memories. I have great moments in my childhood of my grandmother and I watching those shows…..and gossiping about the latest Anne Rice book. After all, I’m currently sleeping in the bed my grandfather had delivered to my mom’s place before he died. When he knew his time was coming to a close, he came to stay here in the guest quarters. He left the woods, left his prized off-the-grid life to a view of the ocean as he took his last breaths.
So, all of this frightened, but comforted. As if to say, if this is how I go, if this is how I die, then I’ve got ancestral comfort around me. I was that scared. I don’t deal with illness well. I’m a little kid again. Still looking for comfort…. I insisted on an old Savannah swamp recipe for Chicken Soup, whose recipe I won’t recite now, but rest assured, it generally cures this kind of thing. The drawback? It cannot be altered in any way, must be done on a certain day, and cannot be consumed at anytime other than fresh. For instance, you cannot cook it, freeze it for the moment that you need it, and expect it to work. Furthermore, it takes some hellish ingredients many would cringe at, and hours to prepare (about 8).
I had the soup, and last week started to feel better. I began to bathe again, knit again, eat proper food. I saw myself beginning to rise from bed at my usual 5 or 6am, make coffee, and get about to work.
My company during Christmas failed. Or rather, I’d appreciate saying, that my company took its biggest fall during that time. Because I won’t allow myself to think that my company has been ruined for good. I’ve not known a more intense moment over the last year of my knitting teddy bears where the patience of my supporters was tested. (I will never EVER call them customers). Unable to knit, I didn’t make the Christmas Eve deadline so many were relying on. I handed disappointment its biggest reward over the last few weeks. An illness that, looking back, had I tried harder to fight off, tried harder to combat, would have kept this business, my reputation, and my livelihood on track. I’ve not been selling, nor aggressively promoting since I got ill. And now?
Now, I have one singular motive in mind: do good by those who believe in me. So, for the last few days, bears have been flying out wildly. And even a month late by now, I’m still obligated to making this work, making those bears become the central focus of a singular person’s smile, and pushing forward into life with the one thing that has given me the hope that so much of life had at one point taken from me. Yes, I’m back, in full force, in full momentum now, and pushing hard (without distraction) to fulfill every single order that has come in. You have my promise. I have my honor at stake, and no matter what I may have to my name or not, that one clinching sense of honor is the one I will always hold onto for dear life. My name means everything. My reputation is squarely mine. I have only my apologies and obligations to tend to now. Nothing else matters.
There were some pleasant moments throughout the last few weeks I’d love to share with you. I want this blog to end on a good note of hope, optimism. I got to meet my great nephew, Carson, for the first time! Yes, I am now a GREAT uncle. 🙂 My niece delivered the little fella just shy of Thanksgiving. So, at 5 weeks old (and eerily quiet), I got to see him. I couldn’t hold him, because of my being ill, but I got to take a pic of him with one of my bears with a zoom lens. Boy, I can’t wait to leave something great to him, an empire….He’s the closest thing to a descendant I have, considering I don’t, and can’t have children. So! The funny thing is, my niece’s husband is Native American and has one of those really cool names like Flying Eagle. His last name is Barefoot. So, the big joke was that my niece was now “Barefoot…..and pregnant!” Too funny.
I celebrated my 39th birthday on the 4th of January….with absolute zero fanfare. I’m wearing, finally, FINALLY, a very warm peacoat thanks to someone who probably would wish to remain anonymous.
I wanted you to see this photograph, wanted to leave this blog this evening with this shot I took yesterday morning from the view from my new, permanent home (thanks to everyone, especially Sadrinne). I think it speaks wildly about the way life has been for the last 3 weeks. Storms were coming in, the boats were about to be battered….but, there…just there, comes the shining brilliance of light to remind and forebode that all will come round to well again. Hold on tight. No matter how bad the storm gets, hold on tight. Everything will come round to well again.