El has been home from school all week. She has had a fever, sore throat and just about every other symptom that comes with a virus. Except nausea, thankfully. She has also lost her voice, and her official diagnosis from the physician's assistant today was pharyngitis.
El has had to write her 'sclamations this week, because she can't 'sclaim them in the usual fashion.
Her temporary inability to speak aloud reminded me of a story.
I have had the honor of having several elderly ladies who are not my relatives 'adopt' me as their own for a season. One of those ladies was Helen Landerdahl. There are many wonderful things I could say about Helen, but here are just a few. I knew her in the later years of her life, and she supported a small church plant. She could have found a more comfortable place (physically and preferentially) but she was one of the stable, faithful and supportive older persons there. I never heard her complain. Ever. She was a godly woman. She lived generously and humbly.
Helen asked me if I would come on Saturdays to help her with some housework. That was a no brainer. Somehow during the two or three hours that I was there to clean the bathroom, run back and forth to the laundry and vacuum, she and I talked. Helen looooved to talk. I learned a lot from her about being a wife and living in faith. I was young enough at the time to think that I was giving her something, but have come to realize that she gave me much more. She was my mentor before I had ever heard the word.
She told me that at one time she and her husband Elmer lived in Canada. He was a pastor, they lived in a sort of studio apartment, and he used to study and prepare his sermons at home. Apparently, Elmer also noticed that Helen liked to talk, because one day he told her that he needed her to be quiet so he could study. According to Helen, she went ALL DAY without talking. Until late in the afternoon when she said, "Elmer, I can't be quiet any more. My throat hurts from not talking!"
Not talking is driving El nuts. Truthfully, I'm so used to El talking, that it's starting to bother me too. So I'm wondering...does her throat hurt because she is sick, or because she is not talking?