What is it about sleepy Sunday afternoons that make me want to write blog posts? Several of my more recent posts have all come about because of that peculiar half doze that seems to fill the traditional day of rest. Today isn’t our usual Sunday, however. We haven’t been to church, for one thing – primarily because I was so tired this morning that the 50-mile round trip wouldn’t have just been an unpleasant necessity – it would have been downright dangerous. So instead of driving I’ve been sleeping, resting and trying to regain a temporarily-misplaced equilibrium.
I described how I felt to my husband – tired, heavy and achy, with zero motivation to do anything beyond what is essential – and he commented that it sounds like the typical day for an ME sufferer. I hasten to add that I do not have ME, but my husband does – indeed, he has had ME for 25 years – so if anyone could describe a ‘typical’ ME day he can. I attribute my current catalogue of bodily complaints not to ME but to a lingering cough & cold, a lack of truly restful sleep last night and a long day yesterday celebrating at a friend’s wedding.
The wedding yesterday wasn’t a day I would have missed for anything – not even my garden calling to me in the hot sunshine, the mildly unpleasant prospect of slowly broiling in a heavy woollen kilt, and coughing and spluttering much of the night before last, put me off. It would have taken something pretty serious to make me consider missing even part of the wedding celebrations, significant as they were. For two old friends of ours, who have been together for 23 years, were finally able to marry.
The ceremony was beautiful, the day was both formal and funny, solemn and riotous. And it seemed fitting that as the two beautiful gents who were the grooms finally tied the knot, our neighbouring nation, Ireland, approved equal marriage. And as the Best Woman commented in her speech, it takes a particularly gay couple to be married on the same day as Eurovision! With music, dancing, a choir, hand-fasting, Shakespeare, a Laurel & Hardy tribute and far too much good food, the day was definitely one to remember.
But back to this morning. My hubby, fuelled by adrenalin and joy, was dancing for a good couple of hours last night, and even sitting in his wheelchair he had more rhythm than me! But this morning he woke with very unpleasant catalogue of painful symptoms, which so far are resisting the painkillers. I can’t dance – I do try but I end up looking like a strangled chicken on the dance floor – and my legs are definitely telling me this morning. It’s strange that I can do a day’s digging in the garden and not ache as much as I do after dancing for a couple of hours.
Even with such good reasons – and surely the cough and cold would have been enough, never mind the wedding – it’s strange that I still feel mildly guilty for missing church today. We missed last week too because my hubby was ill with ME-related symptoms and needed me to stay with him to care for him. I’m supposed to be leading worship in two weeks time, and so there’s something slightly guilt-inducing about missing church – I don’t want other congregation members to lay any charges of inattentiveness at my door. We aren’t going to miss prayer – we pray together at home most days – but corporate worship is something we long for and it will have been nearly 3 weeks between last going to church and seeing our church family again.
If only there was a church that accepted and welcomed us as a gay couple and in which we felt at home, that involved driving less than 50 miles each Sunday. I guess I sometimes find my limitations hard to accept – driving this morning would have been dangerous, plain and simple – and I couldn’t have made church, even if I’d wanted to. The Saturday before I lead worship, I will ensure I spend the day quietly, and I will have an early night the night before, to ensure I get plenty of rest. Perhaps I need to do that more often – but then, ME is impossible to predict, and yesterday’s wedding was a once-in-a-lifetime experience.
It’s nearly time to start dinner – the three-hour marathon involved in preparing a Sunday roast dinner, suitable for a family with several nasty allergies between them. The best bit – apart from the wonderful smell that wafts from the roasting tin as you lift the chicken from the oven – is picking fresh, seasonal herbs and vegetables from the garden, and seeing them being eaten not long after. Today I think we have spring cabbage, mint sauce, and some rosemary and savory for stuffing – at least that’s presuming my aching legs will let me actually do some picking! I think fresh air will do me good, clear my head.
I hope our two newly-married friends are enjoying their day together. I hope my hubby feels well enough to eat dinner later on. I hope the sunshine stays out. I hope my own aches and sleepiness are soon dispelled. I hope our friends at church understand our absence. I hope we get to finish the cabbages before slugs and caterpillars get to them. I hope my cough and cold goes soon and I can breathe normally again. And I hope that my friends and my readers and whoever sees this, have a very lovely, happy, and slightly sleepy, Sunday.