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Humor@Home: The Purge

by Tracie Grimes
Tracie is a monthly contributor to Kern County Family Magazine

As I stood in front of my students, I prayed that God would save me from the pandemic that had infiltrated the Bakersfield College campus. My students seemed to be dropping like flies; in just about every one of my classes at least one would leave the room quickly, clutching his/her mouth. However, Fate was not with me that day. I knew I was a goner when I got home and heard the same heaving, coughing, and groaning from two of my children.

It hit me a couple of days later, while I was getting the oil in my car changed. Thank the good Lord, I was the only person in the shop at the time and for the fact that the bathroom was clean(ish.) I made it to the restroom just in time, and I hung on to the handicapped bar next to the commode as the nightmare that would be my reality for the next 48 hours began. I remember looking down at my former favorite pendant necklace, which got caught up in the…let’s just call it a “cascade,” and thinking about how much I would miss the beautiful blueness of it.

I must have been quite a sight, because the guys at the oil-change place looked like they were considering running for their lives. For a moment, I thought they might just give me the oil change for free; they both recoiled as I extended my credit card with one hand while holding my head with the other. But Fate seemed to be laughing in my face– I think they may have charged me extra (a kind of “damage deposit” for cleaning the bathroom, perhaps.)

I don’t remember the drive home very well, but I do remember having to pull over a couple of times to succumb to the cursed plague and wait for my vision to be restored.

It had been a long time since I had been this sick. I felt like I was close to death; I actually remember praying for death a few times as I laid on the floor of my bathroom. I also thought about how humbling illness can be. There I was, sprawled out on the floor, hanging on for dear life to something that, on a normal day, I would hesitate to touch with a bare hand, begging, praying, pleading for mercy. I made solemn promises to give up cursing when angry, judging people’s grammar, drinking wine (that one I took back right away, though) – anything to stop the pain.

When the tempest finally passed, I looked in the mirror and thought, “I look like I’m about 1,000 years old.”

Weak, shaky, and sore from my recent brush with death, I surveyed the damage left in the wake of The Purge. Open windows, several bottles of disinfectant, and 10 candles burning in each room may take care of any lingering virus and smell, but I had my doubts. It would have been so much easier if we’d just moved.

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Tags: Parenting

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