At the time I was unable to.

I know you are asking “ ’to' what?”, but it was a very general “to” really. Unable to: Move, fix dinner, wash, care, eat, feel, talk, write, think. I was virtually immobile in thought, voice or deed. Empty; made of lead – toxic and impossibly heavy. The energy required to change my position on the couch was more than that required of an army platoon to move a dead rhino through a thick jungle. Too much for me. Dehydrated and using my stores of fat energy, of which I possess not a meager amount, I did manage to pry myself up to use the loo now and again.

I can think back now with such gratitude and love for it, but at the time I stared blankly at my children and husband who were there. Somewhat at a loss for what to do with the lump on the couch who used to be me, they came close and touched me, loved me silently or with tears or questions; even anger now and again. I was struck dumb with the onset of the deepest tar to wash over me, but I think I began to respond again and speak about the 8th day. Funny now as I think about that. The 8th day is a special day; when babies are given their name in Pulaar culture. Part of this is to be sure that they will survive.

I would survive.

I knew I would at the onset, and it stuck in the very back of my head, so, though the going was rough I knew I would get through it. I had done this before while in a village, alone and missing home, I developed a way to get through rough times. I could compartmentalize moments or other timeframes as needed. In this way I needed only focus on whatever increment of time I could handle and get through that, knowing that I then had that much less time to be there.



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