An Angel Keeps Watch

When a mom is down with the flu, the roles are reversed.

Posted in , Jan 16, 2015

Shawnelle's angel, Sam. Photo courtesy Shawnelle Eliasen.

Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. (Philippians 2:4, ESV)

Down for the count. Down with the flu. Lonny tucked me into bed and there I lay, shivering, under a corduroy comforter.

I was sick to my stomach. Feverish. My head was pounding. And I was feeling left out.

Shawnelle's angel, Sam.A ribbon of darkness pressed through a gap in our bedroom curtains and I could hear my brood of boys in the family room at the top of our curvy, old stairs.

Movie night.

We’d planned to share an evening together. We’d bought a movie. Treats. Even sodas–a crazy risk for the carpet upstairs. And we’d carved out time. Precious time. Time set aside to bond and to be.

To be together.

To be relaxed.

To be in the same room at the same time without a million things tugging us in separate directions.

But now I was banished. And for good reason. I wouldn’t dream of sharing the flu.

I dipped my head under the covers (our home is 150 years old, and there’s a draft in our bedroom) and felt a little sorry for myself.  But just when I decided to surrendered to the separation, I heard footfalls.  Slow and steady and soft. Then a warm hand tunneled under the covers and found its way to my forehead.

“Are you okay, Mom?”

 Samuel. Our middle son. I pushed the covers back and tried to sit.

“No, it’s okay. Don’t get up,” he said. “I just wanted to check on you. Is there anything you need?”

Sweet, sweet Samuel. My son smiled and perched on the edge of the bed. I admired his tousled hair. His wide, green eyes. This boy I’d prayed for, to have and to hold, through years of want. Suddenly my throat was tight and emotion welled in my chest.

“I’m fine, Samuel. Thank you,” I said. “I don’t want you to miss any of the movie. Really, I’m okay.”

Sam stood and shoved his hands into the pockets of his favorite sweatshirt.

“Okay, then,” he said. “I love you. I’ll check on you later.”

I nodded. Samuel turned to leave, but then he doubled back and pecked a kiss, swift and light, on my messy hair.

“May angels watch over your sleeping head,” he said, repeating the words I’d whispered over him, every night we’d been together, for his whole life.

And now he was caring for me.

I dipped back under my warm comforter.

May angels watch over my sleeping head.

I closed my eyes and rested–knowing one already had.

Lord, thank you for those in my life who put love to action. Help me to do the same. Amen.

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