Here are some words that meant a lot to me over the last week:
Imodium, Valoids, toilet, toilet paper, tooth brush, tooth paste, fresh air, cold water, warm bed, crisp sheets, soft pillow, cool room, hot shower, gentle soap, fresh towels, clean pjs, own room, own bathroom, flexible employment, mobile phone, iPad, cheese sandwich, diet coke, salty chips, family, friends, Jack, safe, home.
Any of these missing from the mix and four days laid low with a stomach virus would have been less manageable. All of them missing would have been unthinkable.
I’ve been sick when I’ve travelled – food poisoning in India, ‘flu in Italy and pneumonia in Sweden, an agonising tooth abscess in Greece, blinding pink-eye in Mexico, the Norovirus in England. And, even with all my considerable resources – all I’ve wanted … was to be home.
If there is anytime that underlines the desperation of homelessness and poverty for me, it’s when I have sore joints and a fever. When I am constantly tired and coughing. When that burn in my stomach tells me I better get to the bathroom quick.
If there is no home, nowhere warm and safe to curl up, no resources to buy medicine or pay a doctor. No plumbing or electricity. No clean water, no food. No company or care. If there is no home, the grind of life must be untenable.
I live without a bucket under my bed. And I am so grateful.