Sleep comes in short stretches
Chemotherapy plays hob with sleep. I can’t remember when I’ve slept more than two to three hours in one stretch. I am seeing the world through new eyes that are heavy lidded and blurred, but I keep looking none the less.
I don’t have to look far. I’ve cleaned out more files and rearranged more photo albums at 3 a.m. than I ever did in broad day light. And clean. Honey, I can shake a dust mop as well at midnight on a Wednesday as at noon on Saturday.
I have sorted through boxes and found a covey of civil war letters that I would read if my eyes weren’t so bleary, but will tuck them away for a rainy day. This brings me to another topic: rainy days.
Some look at a grey sky and wonder if it’s worth it to get out of bed. My self senses rain and goes into high gear. Seriously, I am like a cat out of a litter box on a rainy day. I have more energy to burn than I can possibly use. My friends take advantage of my rainy day syndrome and get me to do things they don’t have the energy to do.
I don’t mind, not really. I attribute my “rainy day syndrome” to the fact I was born on a stormy Good Friday, the darkest day of the year and the biggest storm ever to blow across Kansas — or so my mother said.
I have witnessed the loveliness of the night: the stars like flickering gas lanterns; the new moon an alabaster sliver, hanging just above a leafless elm; the dawn breaking on the cheek of morning, hanging low and rosy over the river; the cry of a fox in the distance.
At night, the cold air seeps in around the window, and I am reminded of the warm home I have and the furnace that thrums like a big, sleepy dragon in the basement. I am doubly blessed by a warm home and warm bed — even if I am not in it.
I learned a trick from my scrabble playing, Judge friend. She asked me if I slept on the couch. Never I said. She replied that she did, particularly if she was restless, tossing and turning in bed. She went on to say that you couldn’t wrestle around on a couch so you have to lie quiet and fall asleep.
One night, wakeful and restless, I took to my couch. Threw a prayer shawl made by women of Shawnee United Methodist Church over my shoulders, wrapped myself in an old quilt and voila, fell asleep. There really isn’t any room to roll and wrestle about on a couch.
If that Judge thinks giving me good advice means I am going to let her win at scrabble, Missy, she has another thing coming. I stay awake at nights thinking up Scrabble words.
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