I don't call in sick much. It's not just that I only have to appear in person a couple of times a week. It's that I don't like to stop. Stopping often seems like an excuse, a way out of things, even if the illness is real. I've been depressed in my life, and I never let it stop me because I just didn't want to believe in it. Stopping seems to happen at the end--and the end of life is unclear. I want to wait for it to end before I stop because then I will have no choice.
For this coming Tuesday, I have called in sick to one class because I have to go to a funeral. One of my mother's oles and dearest friends has died. She's stopped, finally, after a long illness. This woman was there almost since I can remember, and I'm still unclear on the concept of her being gone. She and my mother and their bridge group played cards weekly and then monthly for over 40 years. She was a rock, a part of our extended family, her calm and firm presence something I will always treasure.
Her death makes me realize again and more and more clearly how we need to take our lives, even the crappy parts and feel them. Today, I am sick, picking up something from the universe that has made me better acquainted with the floor around the toilet. Well, at least I'm picking up details, details I wouldn't have otherwise. And I am still alive, and I am moving forward.
But on Tuesday, we all will stop for my mother's friend. Stop and remember. And feel it.
Causes Jessica Inclán Supports
Women for Women International Goodwill Industries Lindsey Wildlife Museum Freecycle.org