"Mom, can you write me a "please excuse me" note?

I had the great opportunity of going to my parents’ house for Thanksgiving break. For the first time in eleven months, my three sisters and one brother and I were all together at the same time. It was so good to be back together as a full family again. Oh, but hang on, not only was it the five of us and my parents at my parents’ house, but we also had two other college friends come with and a couple we knew from back in Kenya staying with us. That is eleven people. In one house. It was every bit as chaotic and as loud as you could imagine it to be.For whatever reason when I go home, I tend to be a lot healthier than when I’m not at home. I think it’s due to the fact that I eat foods that I grew up eating or maybe it is the presence of people I’m comfortable with. Whatever the reason, I like it so much that departing from home-cooked meals is difficult. Okay, so everyone likes home-cooked meals, it’s a given. But when I speak of home-cooked meals here, I’m speaking of foods from my home country – home-cooked meals; it takes on a different meaning for me.

Over the past few days, meals from my home country were made, I spent time with wonderful people but this time, I drove away from my parents’ house with a flu. May I point out that this was a fluke. I don’t get sick at my parents’ house so whatever this was, it was confused. In its confusion though, it got me good.

The next day, going to work was a struggle. I made it to work but started feeling horrible right away. I decided to tough it out but 30 minutes into work, I had problems keeping my balance. The combination of persistent advice from co-workers and nausea helped to give up 35 minutes into work and I went home. The brute of the flu hit me that day. And it kicked and it punched and it slapped. I was confined to my bed, grimacing with every cough. The following day, still feeling nauseous and dizzy, I couldn’t make it out of bed in the morning so I sent a quick email to my boss admitting my defeat but throwing in how I’d attempt again in the afternoon.

Me being sick should not come as a surprise because it seems like I am always sick with something. The thing that was different this time was that it was the flu. I have not had the flu for about a year and getting it when I was lacking sleep (from staying up late with my siblings) and exhausted from work didn’t help. Several times during these past few days, I was wishing my mom was present, not only to help take care of me, but to write me that note: “please excuse Sera from [work], she is not feeling well.” If only that note was acceptable, it would save me personal days and my pay from getting cut.

Oh to be young again.

Good news: I’m surviving. Here I sit. It’s Wednesday, my first full day of work this week. It’s refreshing to be out of my apartment and breathing fresh air again but I am definitely taking it slow.

Flu – 1, Sera – getting there.


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