Monday, September 12, 2011

a tale of woe and joy and greeblies

Far far away in the Land of Us there lived a worn and wrinkly Princess.

Let's call her Helena, shall we?

Princess Helena, or Mum, as the kingdom lovingly called her, was stuck in the Tower of Unwell. She'd been trapped there for ages and ages and ages and ages. Like, for 11 whole days. Her hair had grown longer (at least longer than it had been 11 days ago). She lay in her bed and gazed out at the trees and the clouds. She longed to be free of the dreaded curse that had been placed on her, in the form of virusey greeblies invading her system. Those greeblies were having a full-on extended vacation, it seemed. She swore she could hear them giggling from her lungs and throat where they'd set up deckchairs, where they were drinking pina coladas and doing bombs in the pool.

On day 4, a Monday, she lay on the bed, and called faintly for help. Her voice was trembly, her face pale. Imagine the swoony putting of hand to the forehead and some pitiful moaning.

"How are you going today, Mum? Still sick?" said a fair Prince from the doorway.

"You need something, Mum?" said a wee Princess bounding up behind him.

Both little ones came up and gave Princess Helena a soft peck on the cheek.

Ah, that was nice. Made her feel a teensy bit better straightaway.

Kids decided to keep Princess Helena company that day, and every day. Books were brought up to bed, and read as the hours became days became week-and-a-half. The cats scooched up close, purring and their paws intermingled.

One extra-special day, the maths books were brought up, and the term


was coined. Now that was a sweet day.

Princess Helena wasn't always in bed in her tower. Sometimes she had to go out,

to Lego League and to band practice and art class. She brought the tower of Unwell with her—it floated along, with her encased inside. Behind its invisible walls and from its hopeless height she coughed pathetically in chairs and on couches.

Princess Helena even made it to a show on Friday night, to see a music film and concert with her children. It had been on the calendar for months—there was no missing this one. And the film was so magical and so extraordinary she forgot for a while that she was unwell. It was about music and about the Spirit—two things dear and close to the Princess's heart. 

Her children breathed it in. When the Princess brought the little Princess home early, they said together, How wonderful! How beautiful! And that night, her girl fell deeply asleep before Princess Helena had even said a proper goodnight.

On Saturday morning, with the tower slinking along silently, and the greeblies tittering behind their hands, she made it to another concert.

This one, was the young Prince's first solo jazz recital. Accompanied by his father, the King of Tunes and Grins and Assorted Loveliness.

This was worth lifting oneself up from bed for.

Look at the joy on the Prince's face. Look at how he smiles as he plays!

And then the Tower called again, hit hard immediately after the concert.

Straight to bed for Princess Helena.

It was worst on Sunday. Which was the day the Princess felt rotten. And sad too, because it was a day of remembering sad things. She crept into sorrow and sat with it. She allowed herself to feel it, because as the film said, and as she knew, a little, already: 

"On the other side of suffering, is happiness." 

She took her asthma puffer hour after hour and tried simply to breathe. She felt.  Big and deep and oh, so very much. 

And that night? She slept through the night for the first time in days.

Which brings us to today.

Today the Princess is finally on antibiotics.

Today the sun is shining.

Today the young Prince and wee Princess (not so wee; she's almost 9 after all! But bear with me; I'm almost done) are watching Kung Fu Panda on the Tower television. The Prince has a very sore throat (oh no's!) and together they are drinking super juice. Spinach, carrot, orange, pear and apple (or just home-made lemonade if you're a much-bigger-than-wee Princess).

Today the King took the morning off work to do the grocery shopping. (Thank you so much, mr beautiful).

Today the sickness greeblies are beginning to sound worried. Not so much tittering. Not so much dancing by the pool.

Today the Princess imagines them scurrying about. Sorting their belongings, finding suitcases, scrabbling in their pockets for directions to the next Tower, and a tip for the drinks waiter.

Today is day 12. The day after 11 and before 13. 

Or day 1. 

Depending on how you see such things.



  1. Your house must be filled with music - how wonderful!

    I am so sorry to hear you have been sick! The Princess must remember to see the Antibiotic-Giving Guy sooner next time. Feel better. I shall send warm soup-ish thoughts to you. (Not chicken soup, though, because of that vegetarian thing.)

  2. That is really sick. You poor thing! You think spending days in bed actually sounds nice - read some books, have a snooze - what a pity you feel so crappy that it's not nice at all. Glad to hear those greeblies have had their party cancelled!

    How fabulous is your boy!!!! My girl is just starting on her piano journey - she dreams of being able to play like that :-)

  3. How I wish he and Grace could play side by side. She would love it!!! I love blogging or working in my favorite comfy chair listening to her practice. The sounds give my home an sense of peace and tranquility (which is sometimes sorely lacking.....). Thank you for sharing this with us. He is simply wonderful.

  4. Please don't take this the wrong way, but I don't think I've ever heard a more entertaining tale of being ill! Of course I'm sad you were sick (and happy you're on the mend!) but the way you write about things makes me smile - even if its about being sick. :(

    And bed-schooling - there's a new one! We like it, and may have to use it someday. Hopefully just for fun...not because we need to.

    Keep getting well, Princess!

  5. Do you know I just adore you? Your posts always make me feel...sad or happy or delight but feel I do. I loved watching your boy and hubby. Kei said, "I thought he played the drums" and I told her he played everything! Feel better and tell those greeblies to take a hike!

  6. I am with MamaTea...such an entertaining story about such an unhappy topic. I do hope you truly are on the mend!

  7. Oh you poor sausage. I hope you mend soon xxx

  8. Just checking in to make sure those dang greeblies took residence somewhere else. Hugs.

  9. Sending you all the healing vibrations I can muster!! I loved this beautiful story and darn those pesky greeblies. Thank you for sharing both the music film trailer and the Prince and King's amazing recital!!!! And you know what, I love bedschooling, we must give it a shot--without the need for greeblies of course. (BTW, I think they were the ones that visited my M last week--grrrrrrr).
    much love and healing to you friend
    xx oo

  10. how did those antibiotics work out? I hope you are feeling all better now. We've had a little of the greeblies in our house too. What a drag huh? Especially now this gorgeous spring weather has made an appearance and all want to do is get out in it. I hope those greeblies leave you and your family alone for a long while now!

  11. Thinking of you, Helena, and wishing you and your lovely family wellness.


I love hearing from you! Thank you for your heartfelt, thoughtful responses—they lift me, and give me light.