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13 years and 11 months…


13 years and 11 months. That is how long it has been since I have thrown up as an adult. The tombstone photo is appropriate this morning as last night I was fairly certain the pain in my stomach would kill me.

I exaggerate. Most writers exaggerate, don’t they? At least we utilize the poetic license that allows us to re-work incidents so that they sound even better or dramatic than they actually were or are.

I think it was food poisioning that kept me out on the front porch in the middle of the night, rocking back and forth in the cool temps. It was the only thing that kept the pain at bay. I crept downstairs at 12:30 a.m. and tried sleeping in the big comfy chair. I didn’t want to watch t.v. or go on the Internet, or read, or even write.  I just wanted that darn stomach pain to go away! Hunched over, I hobbled back in the house a few times to doze off in the chair, but would soon wake up and go back out to the porch to rock. I knew I had to get “it” out before I would feel better; whatever “it” was, so it was actually a relief when around 4:00 a.m. I threw up. And, sure enough, shortly after that, I fell asleep.  I woke up just a few minutes before my sister arrived to take our walk. I wanted to walk. I needed to walk. But my body is not cooperating. I’m tired, and still feel a little queasy. So Pat visited with me and we talked about what I’d eaten that might make me sick. I mentioned the bag of almonds and cranberries and how the first hand-full made me think, “Hmmm… that doesn’t taste right.” But I ate them anyway. I was hungry and that was pretty much my lunch; those almonds and tiny carrots with ranch dip.

Whatever it was, it is better now. This morning my husband made me tea and I will eat two slices of WHITE bread, toasted and sprinkled with cinnamon and sugar, along with another cup of tea.  I have cut down on bread so much these past 13 weeks, it will be a real treat to have the sugar and cinnamon toast we always had as children when we were sick.

And the tombstone?  I took a picture of it when I rode through the cemetary last Fall.  The small tombstone next to it is for a “Mary Kenyon”, who died in the early 1900’s.  Initially, it kind of freaked me out to see my name on a tombstone. Then I started purposefully riding my bike past her stone.  I haven’t done that for awhile, but when my sister Pat is on vacation later this month and we won’t be walking together, I think I will start taking those evening bike rides again.

And I’ll visit Mary.


Author, public speaker, and workshop presenter for community colleges, libraries, women's groups and for grief support groups, Hospice and retreats. Certified grief counselor and Senior Service librarian for the James Kennedy Public library. Popular public speaker and workshop presenter on the topics of writing, couponing, utilizing your creativity in everyday life, and finding hope in grief. "Coupon Crazy: The Science, the Savings, and the Stories Behind America's Extreme Obsession" was published by Familius Publishing in 2014. "Chemo-Therapist: How Cancer Cured a Marriage" and "Refined By Fire: A Journey of Grief and Grace" were released by Familius in 2014. "Mary & Me: A Lasting Link Through Ink," co-written with Mary Jedlicka Humston of Iowa City, was published in September 2015. Grief journal to be released in 2018.

3 thoughts on “13 years and 11 months…

  1. Mary-
    Hope your feeling better. YUK, I know how it was I had gotten an allergic reaction to an antibiotic, it was actually 27 years since I was sick like that, but ohh was I sick that night, it was horrible, and I here food poising is the same. I am hoping you are feeling better as the day go on and LOVE the desk my friend. Hoping you rec. my envy I sent, getting ready to write again. Having another yard sale on Monday wish me luck.. how did you do on your last one?


  2. Hope you’re feeling better, Mary! Maybe it was’t food poisoning….maybe you’re PREGNANT! Hey, I think I just heard a thud across the states…..did you just fall in the floor?

    Love ya!


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