If I ever had any doubts about the truth of the saying, “Life is like a roller coaster, full of ups and downs,” the events of the past couple of weeks have put them to rest. Approximately four weeks ago, I was sitting in my favorite restaurant, celebrating an early birthday dinner with my immediate family. I distinctly remember sitting with my oldest two grandchildren on my lap, looking over at the baby and thinking, “I am so blessed.”
The reason we were celebrating my birthday early was that my husband and I were going to be on Sanibel Island for my actual birthday, and Florida’s Sanibel Island is one of my very favorite places. Even better, the trip was all I had hoped it would be: we had great weather, were joined for a few days by good friends, found some fun shells and even had the chance to get up close and personal with manatees. It was, honestly, the highlight of my year so far.
But what goes up must come down, as we all know. Early last week, I started to feel a bit sick. I figured it was my usual allergic reaction to the green tree pollen that’s coating everything here, but I took a Covid test and got a negative result. I stayed home even so, resting and drinking lots of water. After a couple of days I felt much better, but decided to take another Covid test before I ventured out in public, just to be sure. And it was positive.
I know I still have lots to be thankful for. My symptoms were extremely mild, and my husband was out of town on business while I got sick, and he tested negative when he returned. Unfortunately, the difference in our Covid status means we can’t share living space, so I’m upstairs in the primary bedroom of our story-and-a-half house while my husband is staying downstairs and sleeping in the guest room. And as nice as our primary suite is, it was designed for sleeping, not living in 24/7. Especially not in the heat we’ve been enduring this past week, because our upstairs depends on the additional cooling provided by the window AC unit my husband would install if he were allowed to be in the same space as me.
Sometimes as I’m sitting on my bed, watching yet another HGTV rerun or reading yet another book and trying not to sweat on the pages, I can’t help but feel just a little bit sorry for myself. Boredom and loneliness aren’t fun companions. It’s a little off-putting when I don my N95 mask and go downstairs to replenish my ice water, and my husband gives me a horrified look and quickly darts into another room. He’s being sensible, I know, but it still takes getting used to. And it didn’t help when, safely back upstairs, the strap broke as I was removing the mask, snapping me sharply just below the left eye. You know you’re in an unlucky phase when you get attacked by your face mask.
But I know that this, too, shall pass. My husband continues to test negative, and every day brings me closer to the end of my isolation period. I know the time will come when all I remember about this time is how grateful I am that it wasn’t much, much worse. And meanwhile, I’ll just sit tight and dream about the next time I get to visit Sanibel…….