Throw up, throw up, and more throw up!

For everything there is a season, and a time for every purpose under heaven: a time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted; time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up; a time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance; “

And a time to be SICK. We arrived in Bangkok Sunday July 22 after a 30-hour journey. Our plan for the first week was for me to watch Marley, and Jana would attend new teacher orientation. The plan started great until Marley woke up Wednesday night throwing up. She went on to throw up five times that night while we got very little sleep. By Sunday Jana had gotten very little accomplished in her classroom, and I was tired of cleaning up puke, so we took Marley to the doctor. Hello Rotavirus!  Sunday we were relieved to get a diagnosis for Marley, but then Jana started feeling sick. Sunday night, Jana started to throw up and it became evident that she was also sick. So, on Monday I went to full staff orientation alone. At orientation I explained Jana was sick, but I thought I would be ok because I had gotten sick at Christmas with a gastric virus. Well, Wednesday night that changed. As Marley started feeling better I began clutching the toilet for my round of vomiting. We finally all felt better by Sunday night.

When I am sick I think the world is ending. But, when Jana is sick, I become very frustrated. Why can’t she suck it up and feel better? I don’t know why I have very little sympathy when Jana is sick. I believe we all carry a little of that in our marriages. We often think, “I feel bad for my sick spouse, but I need him or her to hurry up and feel better”.  When Jana is ill, I quickly realize daily tasks are much more manageable when she is there to help me. I often think about my dad dying from cancer when sickness hits our family, and how my mom cared for him. Me sleeping one night on the couch while my girls were puking, seems trivial compared to caring for someone for over a year.

This past week reminded me of the marriage vows I took, in sickness and in health. Of course, this time was just a minor gastric virus, but I am sure more sickness will come our way. When that time comes, I am going to take some time and pray for patience. It is difficult for me when the daily routine is thrown off, but it is essential I care for my family. And certainly, pray for your family when sickness strikes instead of being frustrated. Remember, there is a season for everything and sometimes that season is cleaning up your loved one’s vomit.

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Memo: Jack & Jana Barr  ID#212