Health great­est bless­ing of all

Townsville Bulletin - - LIFESTYLE -

FIRST came the sneezes. Then the fever, sleep­less­ness, and in­con­solable cry­ing jags. My Master Three was mis­er­able with his first cold of the win­ter sea­son.

And that was just the be­gin­ning of my fam­ily’s sick­ness woes.

On the sec­ond day of my son’s cold, my Miss Six and Miss Seven were gifted their brother’s germs.

On the fourth day I caught my chil­dren’s cold.

‘‘ Great,’’ I thought. ‘‘ Just what I need. I thought mums were im­mune to get­ting sick when their chil­dren are sick.’’

This has not been the first time I’ve ac­knowl­edged that the only thing worse than tak­ing care of sick chil­dren is tak­ing care of sick chil­dren when I’m sick my­self.

Hav­ing a hus­band away from home for work just makes it more of a chal­lenge.

It was hard enough to see my chil­dren so mis­er­able, but the con­stant whim­per­ing and lack of sleep took its toll on my sick body more than I could ever have imag­ined.

All I wanted to do was to bury my­self in bed. But I couldn’t. My chil­dren needed me. I felt ab­so­lutely mis­er­able. Know­ing my chil­dren were feel­ing sim­i­lar pain to me made me even more mis­er­able.

Of course I have learnt from hard­earned moth­er­ing ex­pe­ri­ence that to care for sick chil­dren when I’m also sick, three things must oc­cur. Firstly, my strict con­trol over chil­dren TV view­ing is thrown out the win­dow. When all the fam­ily is down with an il ness bring on binge TV view­ing. Se­condly, when I’m in the troughs of a fam­ily sick fest I pri­ori­tise. Yes, that’s right. Dishes are left in the sink, floors un­vac­u­umed and laun­dry bas­ket over­flow­ing. And then there’s ask­ing for help. Al though this is the one I find the most dif fi­cult, when ev­ery­one is sick in the fam­ily it’s the time to call a rel­a­tive or friend When my sis­ter dropped off a home baked chicken and veg­etable bake for the fam­ily when cook­ing dinnner was the last thing I could muster, I felt the most blessed of women. For when you’re sick, and your child ren are sick, the small­est of kind ges­tures mean the grand­est of kind ges­tures. And within a week, my night­mare was over.

What would I ever do if one of my chil­dren, or me, re­ally had some chronic ill­ness? I can’t imag­ine, nor do I ever want to. Now that ev­ery­one is back to health I feel like I have a new lease on life.

What I have ac­knowl­edged is how it’s oh- so- easy to take my fam­ily’s good health for granted when we have it.

It’s when some­one is sick, or in the most re­cent case when we’re all sick, that I can fully ap­pre­ci­ate what a bless­ing good health re­ally is.

When I was sooth­ing my chil­dren, and my­self, dur­ing our mul­ti­ple fam­ily ill­ness bout, I thought of the many in­cred­i­bly brave and re­silient par­ents who care for their chron­i­cally ill chil­dren, or are chron­i­cally ill them­selves, and couldn’t help but won­der how they cope.

So, as I send my best wishes to those fam­i­lies who live with chronic ill­ness as a long term day- to- day re­al­ity, I also em­brace my fam­ily’s good health and the mag­nif­i­cent free­dom it gives to us.

Pic­tures: ZAK SIM­MONDS

Leesa Rene­han and son Mar­son Moore, 2, are all smiles at The Strand. Proud mum Ten­neal Bourke with six­month- old son Xavier from Pim­lico. Troy Greenwood and daugh­ter Mad­di­son, 1, from Bush­land Beach travel in style at The Strand. Cat Le­mech and daugh­ter Heidi Stone, 1, from An­nan­dale en­joy the sights. Melinda Brady hap­pily has her hands full with twins Sa­man­tha and Clare, 2, from Mys­ter­ton. Kim­berly Howes and Bri­enna, 1, from Mt Louisa are well pre­pared.

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