Symptoms: My fever has come down over the course of the last two days, never even remotely approaching the 104.3 of Wednesday this week. Chest congestion has persisted, as have fatigue and a small sore throat. I continue to drink regular fluids and have stayed off of any other medication. Thus far I have been able to manage with this balance. My symptoms, in comparison to many others I have heard from, are relatively mild.
Reflections: Emily and I have both remarked numerous times at the love and compassion that we have each felt from neighbors, family, and friends. While we have remained isolated, we have not been alone: meals, special treats, texts, and phone calls have poured in; this has produced a deep joy in us, even as we sit at home together. Indeed, during my time with the disease, I have not felt at once a sense of despair, anger, or cynicism – I have only been reminded of my love for my wife, for my family, and for my friends. My healing is made comprehensive by the mental, emotional, and spiritual support of each of my relationships.
As with many observations, these reflections bring out a twofold response in us:
1.) Gratitude: we do not find any particular reason that such goodness, from all the disparate parts of our lives, should come together to sustain us and encourage us in this season. The Latin root of ‘gratitude’ (gratus) is the same root for the word ‘grace,’ which I find tremendously fitting: you can’t even begin to practice thankfulness without acknowledging the free, unearned gift that lies at its root. We are grateful because we know we are receiving grace upon grace.
2.) Motivation: we are also humbled in recent days, as we have been reminded of how critical it is for us to practice to sort of sacrificial love and support that so many are bestowing upon us. I, for one, have seen my own selfishness, pride, and passivity exposed as I have seen others in my community step up for no other reason than to love Emily and I. For the both of us, we are reminded again of the essentiality of “losing our lives” in order to save them, of giving ourselves up for the sake of others, and we hope to prioritize that more and more effectively once we have moved beyond our present difficulty.
Thankful for each and every one of you – you help make up an ecosystem that produces and sustains life, even in the middle of a time that is full of death.