Millennium Memoir
Moon and Stars . .

12.3.1999

Tonsalytis

During the Fall of 1984, I wrote a brief paragraph in my diary, explaining that my throat ached and I was in bed, because of tonsalytis.

Right now, I wish all that I had were tonsalytis, because whatever I am suffering from, it's grabbed ahold of me fast and isn't letting go.

My memories of sick days, staying home from school, are on the whole, good ones. Despite the fevers, the coughs, the aches, the dropping nose, staying home sick always meant extra-special care from Mom and lots of yummy food.

Yummy food more often than not, meant lots of eggs: eggs over easy, scrambled eggs and my old favorite, poached eggs with strips of white toast to drench with yolk. Apple sauce and ginger ale were two other frequent flyers in the Kelleher sick-day arsenal. Mom almost always had home-made apple sauce on hand and ginger ale was her all-purpose, drink-this-when-you're-sick panacea, because the bubbles helped settle the stomach, but it had no caffeine so it wouldn't make the patient jittery.

In fact, six years before tonsalytis, when I had scarlet fever, my mother nursed me through on aspirin and ginger ale. The doctor at the American Hospital in Paris mis-diagnosed me and hence my mother had no antibiotics to give me. But I managed to make it through just fine, thanks to her assiduous care.

I don't recall being sick that much over the course of my tenth year -- all in all it was one of my best years of childhood. I had friends, I was more accepted in my class than I had been previously, and we'd been in Belgium long enough now, that I was beginning to think of it as home.

My report cards from the time period describe me as "a quiet child with a rich inner life, who might be well-rewarded by sharing her thoughts with her class-mates, I'd love to see a smile on her face more often."

This points to a certain melancholy that I did on occasion still feel, but by and large I was happy ... at least for a while.

Moonlit Trees . .

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