Yesterday, while en route to Conway to help move Mother to her new apartment, I was struck down by a stomach virus just as I was crossing the Faulkner County line. Once I got back on the road, I opened the sunroof and cracked a couple of windows to let some fresh air in. I had managed to forget what misery it is to be driving 70 mph while fighting nausea.
I got to Trillium Park where Mom used to live. I stayed long enough to give Bob some money for lunch and a check for the movers. Then I was asked to "get the f*ck out of here" and so I headed back to Little Rock with windows open and teeth gritted.
Between brothers Bob and John and with cousin Janan pinch-hitting for me, everything went smoothly. Mom's place was pretty much ready by 11:30 or that morning and she was installed in her new digs by 1 or so. Of course, it should have gone smoothly. I had planned everything down to the nth degree in case something blew up.
It just didn't occur to me at the time that I would be the "something" that would go kaboom!
Some of my friends were predisposed to see the hand of the Almighty in all of this. As one such theologically inclined friend said, " You had done so much work and worried so much about all of this, maybe this is just God's way of telling you to let go and let others take over." I confess that this high-minded consideration was the furthest thing from my mind when I was taking a knee just outside of the Mayflower city limits.
" You know," I said. " If God wants to get a message to me, there's any of a number of ways to do it. He could have appeared unto me in a dream. That always worked in both the Old and the New Testament. He could have appeared as a whirlwind or he could have set my azaleas on fire and spoke to me from there. "
" Would it have killed God-speaking metaphorically of course-to have sent me an e-mail or to have hit me with a text message? With all due respect, if God is communicating His will nowadays through the intentional infliction of the stomach virus I would just as soon he minded His own business. "
But, as another of my friends who is still given to belief in Signs and Wonders even in this present age said, "Yes, but if He hadn't put this on you would you have listened to anything else?"
" Hell yes, " I replied. " I am a reasonable man. If the chinaberry tree bursts into flames and starts speaking Hebrew or impersonating Charlton Heston, I will take heed and know that
it is God. Either that or I will join AA."
Someone else tried to put it all in perspective. She is an Episcopalian and as such she tries not to let such ruminations get the best of her.
" The important thing is that your Mother was moved with as little stress on her as possible. All your hard work and the fact that you guys all get along and work well together made it possible for you to stay on the sidelines. If that's not a blessing I don't know what is."
OK. I can go with that one. I don't go out of my way to look for 'em but I will take my blessings where I can get 'em.
I am much better today. I ate a sandwich and some soup for lunch. So far so good. I've been reading out on my porch swing. The cool air feels really good. Looking forward to the Sugar Bowl later tonight. Notre Dame and LSU. Talk about a game that's hard to find somebody to root for!
I'll probably swallow my pride-now that I can swallow- and pull for the Tigers. LSU fans may be crazier than hell but at least they're not a bunch of damn snobs as the Irish faithful tend to be. Yep. I think I am on the mend.
But really, God. If it be thy will, the next time Thou desireth to get me told about something, try the cell first before Thou considereth other means of communication with Thy humble servant. Always got it with me.
It will be easier on everybody.