Votive of thanks


It’s hard to know what to say when a child confesses they’ve been awake all night worrying that you’re going to die. So I did what any good parent would do – and lied my head off. ‘Of course I’m not going to die. What a ridiculous idea,’ I blustered, knowing all the while that:

a) we are all going to die, actually; and

b) some of us are going to do it sooner than others.

That doesn’t have to include me, though. Having spent months worrying about exactly the question that kept my poor dear child awake, I have now decided that I just don’t have any interest at all in worrying about death any more. I’m not even (that) scared about the upcoming operation next week. Before the last one I was all aquiver, convinced I was going to die on the operating table or, probably, as soon as I had the general anaesthetic.

As it turned out, the chief anaesthetist didn’t show up (apparently he was waiting to be called or something …. I know, little bit lame) so I had the operation under a local anaesthetic. The plastic surgeon said it would be fine. ‘They do this operation under locals all the time …. in some countries,’ he said, swishing his Hermes tie and avoiding my eyes. I very carefully didn’t ask which countries, having a clear (and almost certainly completely unfair) vision of burning sun, corrugated metal huts and a distinct lack of quinoa in the local supermarkets, and he certainly didn’t volunteer the information. It wasn’t nice, and now I am positively looking forward to the general anaesthetic and plenty of top-notch painkillers afterwards.

And that, God willing, should be that. Just a lot of checks and scans and I should be fine. As fine as any of us are in a world where stuff will keep on happening. It was a good moment for the doorbell to ring and the postman to proffer a lovely box. Four votive candles from the Yankee Candle folk, smelling deliciously of shea butter, cassis, grapefruit and aloe water, in a container marked Happiness. Just what the doctor ordered. Thank you, Yankee lovelies and thank you, universe.



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