It's wretched being sick when you're poor. While it's fairly universally agreed that no one enjoys being sick, at least when I have money to spend I can buy things that comfort me or temporarily make me forget that I am miserable.
Despite a valiant effort at resting all weekend I seem to be deteriorating health-wise. I'm tired, weak, coughing, and a bit cranky. I want something that will make me feel better. Something that will make me feel nurtured. Growing up in my family, we learned that chocolate and desserts make you feel better, so to me nurture looks a lot like chocolate ice cream. Nurturing might look like something else if I was in a relationship (like a backrub, or a cuddle- and I can just hear my married friends laughing and saying "yeah, right!"), but I'm single and poor for 40 days. Well, poor for 40 days. Single for more like 40 years. Sigh. This isn't making me feel better.
With discomfort, disease, and illness piled on top of the usual distress of having very little money to buy food, I'm wondering how low-income people nurture themselves? What kind of internal reserves do they draw from in order to endure? My measly little cold or flu doesn't qualify as hardship, but it is harder to bear without my usual indulgences. Today my attempt to identify with the poor comes in the form of great respect and admiration for those who bear their bad health with an internal grace rather than a “grace” that comes from their wallets. It's interesting to note that prior to the Protestant Reformation, “grace” that came from wallets was also called “indulgences”.