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September 16, 2003


FAMILY




Yesterday, I broke out in a strange fever. My body ached and alternated between fiery sweat and icy chills. At some point in the delirium, I cried out for my mom. I cried out for her because I knew that she would do anything to make me feel better. And after nurturing me for so many years, I knew that she would know how to make me feel better. Mostly, I just wanted her company, that combination of over concerned pampering combined with her humour and quirky ways.

In the end, I did not call her last night even though she is only fifteen minutes away. I labored through the aches and took medicine that plain knocked me out. I have been away from home for many many years, and have certainly battled sickness on my own before. Although mom is close to me now, I didn't want to indulge myself to be under the care of others. I kept thinking that when I'm in the Peace Corps, I may not have anyone nearby to turn to and how I might have to suffer through such episodes alone. I wondered how I would deal psychologically with the same situation thousands of miles away, without anyone as dear as mom.

The worst of my fever was gone by morning, but the first thing I did was to call mom. After a night of suffering, I needed the concern, the pampering, and especially the home cooked meal. When she came over, I accepted all of her recommended medications, ate her chicken noodle soup, and listened to her neighborhood gossip. I laughed. I felt better. I cried when she left. I cried because I felt my family's love and knew that I would miss it when I'm away. But while I may not have mom's chicken soup or her warm spirit when I'm out in the field, I will know deep in my heart that I have a family's love to carry me through the difficulties that lay ahead. It is my family's love that gives me the strength to pursue all of my endeavors alone. It will be enough to know that if I asked her to, my mom would fly half way around the world to bring me chicken soup. This thought alone will lift me out of a cold sweat and bring a smile to my face.


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