Amidst all the birthdaying and anniversary . . . ing was the great New Year’s Eve Calamity of 2017/2018. (I debated here. Calamity? Misadventure? Catastrophe? Disaster? All of those things). On the night between my birthday and our anniversary Penny and Goldie fell ill. (Penny wasn’t finished with it all until she’d thrown up ten times over several hours.) But, we were planning on leaving for Bear Lake on our anniversary, so I encouragingly told myself that it was nothing contagious – they’d most-likely gotten food poisoning from the Chinese food we’d had on my birthday. After all, we hadn’t been anywhere since Christmas. How could we have contracted some illness? No. No. We couldn’t have.
My theory checked out all right until Mette threw up several times DURING the car ride to our cabin. (Which thing no one should ever have to endure – particularly after the last baby wipe has been used up.) Still . . . it’s a curvy canyon and she has been prone to car-sickness before. Surely that was an unhappy fluke and we would have no further troubles.
So we hopefully watched movies and ate treats and Mike and the oldest four even went skiing (our refusal to acknowledge anything worse seeming sufficient to keep anything worse at bay). Until New Year’s Eve – when one after another my family was felled. We gave up on games, or fun, or any type of New Year’s Eve or New Year’s Day celebration as first Anders, then Abe, and then Jesse, and then Daisy were hit. As we climbed from bed and cleaned up messes and soothed . . . over and over and over again, Mike and I kept anxiously asking one another how we felt. At some point Mike told me he didn’t think he was going to make it. And he didn’t.
Goodness it was quite the affair! Last night we watched part of a documentary on the 1918 flu pandemic. It was unthinkably awful. How our country survived it along with WWI is beyond my comprehension. But having undergone our own mini-pandemic, I was ultra sensitive to the realities of what some families underwent. Why, if that had been us this weekend, we would have come out of it with only myself, Hans and Summer remaining of our family of 11! It filled me with equal parts terror and gratitude.
But, there were happy things from the cabin as well. Playing Pictionary, me not getting sick, Mike reading to the kids, the skiing, Abe meeting up with friends from the ward who were also up skiing another night, the girls tending while Mike took me to eat for our anniversary at one of the three or four restaurants that were open in Garden City on the holiday weekend, and Mette, upon hearing Summer ask for a Tootsie Roll, insisting, “I want a Tootsie . . . and to roll it!” (She has also been known in the past to ask for: Nes. . . . Quick!)
So we will not proclaim the advent of 2018 a total failure. . . . Though certainly a partial one.