I try not to use the word hate, very often. It is an extreme word. There is no love or forgiveness in it.
That's why I'm using it now. I...HATE...poison ivy!
It is November. The temperatures have been in the 50's during the day and the 20's and 30's at night. You'd think this evil weed would die. But, no! It is as tenacious as my dear son is unwary.
He walked to the woods, two evenings ago, to retrieve his father's ax. Nearly all of the trees in the wooded grove behind our home, have lost their leaves. Zachary lingered in the woods, something he had not been able to do all summer due to his extreme sensitivity to poison ivy. He was gone such a long time, that I jumped in the van and drove down the short trail to make sure he wasn't stuck in one of the recently set traps.
In the twilight, at the entrance to the wooded path, he stood alone. Cheeks flushed red with the cold, his face radiant with the secret joy of time spent alone in nature.
Gone. Radiance has been replaced with the worst rash ever. Eyes swollen shut. Large weeping blisters cover his entire face and neck. We are now one step outside of a trip to the ER.
His greatest suffering? He thought he was safe. He felt his immunity had built up over the summer. He had been using this. He showered. He did everything that he should have. His additional concern: how on earth will he serve Mass in this condition? He most likely won't.
And that's why I HATE poison ivy. Yet another aspect of The Fall (pun intended) that reminds us that "the world is our ship, not our home"--St. Therese of Lisieux.
Please pray for my dear boy. Not even chocolate chip pancakes can ease his suffering...