I’m horrible at being sick. I’m like an old smelly dog. I walk slowly, I growl a lot at anyone who comes close, I like to be in the corner alone and far away from people — even those who only want to take care of me.
This worked out perfectly for me in my darker days — also known as bachelorhood. No one was around. No one tried to “comfort” me or “help” me or “bring” me food, and that was OK by me. No one got growled at and no one got bitten.
Then I met Zahra and the whole thing went to hell. She wanted to take care of me and for some strange-to-me reason, I didn’t mind it so much. I occasionally growled at her. I certainly barked at her enough to warrant many a punch in the face. But I let down some of my guard and allowed her to, dare I say it, care for me.
Flash forward seven or so years and I look at my daughter. She’s sick today. She has been for almost three days now. I know she’s in pain. But she’s a fighter. I know because she laughs before it hurts and then she cries a little before laughing again. But the cries break your heart. I find myself holding her close and crying a little to see if my tears won’t take some of her pain away.
Then I wonder if she will let me take care of her when she is sick — and is old enough to bark at me.