I have pretty much been on my own when I’m sick. I know to keep certain things on hand “just in case.” You know, sick food. I never take any over the counter meds for colds or flu. Just some chicken soup, Jewish penicillin, bread for toast and tea. People from dysfunctional homes are usually on their own in these cases, even as children.
This was about the last time I had help when I was seriously ill. It was Christmas time 1958, I was seven, and I had just lost my dear Aunt Ruth. I sometimes wonder if I became deathly ill after she died so I could join her in heaven. I was just getting over Scarlet Fever and was still so ill I didn’t even care it was Christmas time, even though it was my favorite time of year. I can still remember the torturous feeling of being picked up, carried and being propped in a chair, suffering and delirious with fever but my parents insisted I should be with the rest of the family whether I wanted to be there or not and with no thought to the other children getting it. They just told them to “stay away from me.” From this picture, I don’t think they had to be told.
I believe this act actually saved my life because I could feel I was trying to slip away from this world. Anyone who’s ever been seriously ill knows what I’m speaking of. I’ve had major surgeries and very ill at other times, even to the point of hospitalization, but this was something different. This was a feeling of complete detachment and readying of my spirit to go home.