a lesson I’d rather skip

Illness struck and all my carefully laid plans flew out the window.

The goal was to close out our time intentionally, carefully. Instead, we’re cramming. There is no method to the madness. It’s simply pack-up-and-get-out mode.

Everyone says it is important to be thorough with goodbyes. They’re awkward and rough, but skipping out on them only makes things worse. But here we are, brushing over them. I’m sick enough that there’s no other option, but not sick enough not to care. This is not how I wanted our term to end.

I feel as blurry as I look.

The Bezaleel teachers planned a going-away lunch for us yesterday afternoon. I thought for sure I’d be better after a weekend of illness. But I wasn’t; I was worse. So my husband and I took a taxi to the school and I walked around saying goodbye while the taxi waited to take me home. I felt awful, turning away from the teary-eyed women and their kettles brimming with food made just for us. They were so disappointed and sad. I wanted to stay, but even more, I wanted to climb into bed and shut my eyes.

Earlier that morning my husband carted several trays of cinnamon rolls to the children’s school. I had made them the day before—Day Two of the illness. (Day Three was the worst.) He took the camera and photographed the children with their friends and teachers. Scrolling through the pictures, I cried. I wanted to be there, too.

We were planning to take this coming weekend to do something special, but now I don’t know. My younger daughter is burning up with fever, and my husband and older son have yet to get it (my, aren’t I optimistic). There are meetings and paperwork and errands and sorting to be done. We haven’t bought a lick of stuff on our Guatemala-stuff-to-take-home list. There’s way too much food in the kitchen that we now have to figure out what to do with. (I was going to cook through a bunch of it over the weekend.) And I need to write a letter to the school and can’t find any unlined paper.

Living in Central America has taught me a lot about flexibility. Perhaps this is just one final lesson?


  • Camille

    So sorry you are sick. Never fun. But, especially not fun right now. Praying for you all as you say goodbye and make the transition home. XO

  • Tricia @ The Domestic Fringe

    I'm so sorry to hear this. Prayers for you to feel 100% better real soon. Take good care of yourself, so you are all better for your trip home.


  • Mama Pea

    Oh, what a very awful, terrible, bad time for you all (or most of you at least) to be sick. Can you postpone your departure date? Is that possible? I can't imagine traveling as far as you have to travel to get home while even one of you is so sick. Really, really bad timing for this to happen. You have seemed very flexible (to me) the whole time you've been there. I hope you figure out a way to say good-bye in the manner that will make you feel good about the situation. Hugs. (And lots of kleenex.)

  • karen

    Oh my, my thoughts are with you guys. How miserable. <3

    I love your gallows humour in that last line — this is exactly how I try to live my intentional life: knowing I have very little control and mostly just have to show up and do it with as much style and grace as I can possibly muster. Which sometimes is not much but you know …

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