Stress and Immunity

by Laura

I’m sick. I haven’t been sick sick in decades. Lots of colds, of course, and way too many ear intections for a grown-up, but not fevery things. So it is natural that I would miss my mom while feeling this way. We’re all children when we’re sick, aren’t we? I keep expecting my mom to make me a cozy nook on the couch, pull up an occasional table and offer me ginger ale and soup on one of those awful orange and yellow placemats that matched the awful orange and yellow kitchen I miss so much. They updated at some point. Dark granite and stainless. Like something out of a magazine. But it wasn’t my kitchen anymore. I didn’t even live there and it still felt like a betrayal.

My mom couldn’t take care of me these last twenty years because I wasn’t there. I was in California and New Mexico and Colorado and Washington. But I could call her and she’d tell me she wished she could be there to pet my head and make me soup, make it all better. That was almost good enough. I pet her head a few weeks ago. She wasn’t recovering well from the surgery that was supposed to improve everything. She was in pain. I ran my fingers through her hair. It felt like an insignificant act compared to a childhood under her care.

It’s not just the loss of a person. It’s a loss of love. Almost like a break-up. Someone doesn’t love me anymore, because she can’t. She would if she could. I know that. I’m a mom. We want them to feel our love forever. But it doesn’t really change the fact that I am less loved than last year because the person who loved me most is gone. What a rotten thing. I keep going over the movie Moneyball in my head. I’ve just lost my best player. Now who can I get to pick up the slack? How many players would I need? But who am I kidding? A million players wouldn’t suffice. She was Mom.

I hate being sick and I want my mommy. We never outgrow that, do we?

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