The Power of Three


They say bad things happen in threes. I'm not sure who "they" are exactly but whenever a series of unfortunate events happen relatively close together, inevitably, someone chimes in with this oft quoted remark. Well, this past weekend I won the crap bowl trifecta. In varying degrees of seriousness, someone fell ill within a twenty four hour period leaving me reeling and pondering the power of friendship and goodwill.

It all started with my little cold going from garden variety sore throat and snot to full blown laryngitis and a cough to rival any late stage emphysema sufferer who had sucked down one pack too many of Marlboros in his lifetime. The severity of my cold no doubt stemmed from my unwillingness to accept being sick in the first place.

"Sure, I'll go to boot camp and jump around like an idiot at the ass crack of dawn even though some sort of virus is going to town on my immune system," I thought to myself last Wednesday. Whatever doesn't kill you makes you stronger. Another bad adage bites the dust.

Within twenty four hours I sounded eerily like Bette Davis in Whatever Happened to Baby Jane? and only looked marginally better. By Friday morning I was nearly using sign language and popping cough drops like they were Tic Tacs. I had just resigned myself to staying in and nursing myself back to health when I received a call that morning that my horse had suddenly fallen ill.

I raced to the barn to find her shaking like a leaf and clearly in distress. I hurriedly called the vet and hand walked her around the indoor arena bundled up in a multitude of wool coolers until the doctor arrived. She had a fever and what looked to be some sort of viral infection. Drugs were administered, blood was taken and I was told to keep her in and re-check her temperature that evening.

Meanwhile a good friend of mine landed herself in the hospital later that day after a blood related therapy went awry. She went from emergency room to being admitted that evening with no one knowing exactly what the problem was. My horse's fever hadn't broken by that evening, I was a walking petri dish, and my friend had gone from thinking she would be home for lunch to sleeping in a linoleum lined room. This is never a good way to start off the weekend.

Saturday came like a punch drunk clown to a five year old's birthday party. I trundled off to urgent care in search of prescription drugs  and verification that I did not in fact have pneumonia. Upon my return, I heard my horse was doing better but that my friend had been moved to intensive care and nearly died from a pulmonary embolism. The power of three was really beginning to take its toll.

I spent the rest of the weekend glued to the couch and waiting by the phone for updates on my friend's health. Someone in our circle of gal pals took care of my sick friend's boys, another tended to my horse, while yet another showed up at my doorstep with chicken soup. And, all of us prayed for the one who almost left us.

Luckily, the three of us are on the mend. I am no longer on the verge of coughing up a lung or gracing those around me with a voice from a bad all male revue of Cher's greatest hits. The horse has fully recovered and my friend is no longer in ICU. And, while all of that is enough to drop down to one's knees and thank the powers that be, I cannot help but be just a little more than grateful for those wonderful women in my life. A hand needs holding, a child needs tended, a rectal thermometer needs placed in a horse's behind: short of a therapist, nanny or vet at the ready a truly good friend will do. In fact, she is all three rolled into one if need be. When push comes to shove, she will be there.

And, sometimes, just being there is all anyone needs.

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