Yesterday, I woke up after only about an hour’s sleep with what, by all appearances, seems to be a sinus infection. The night before, we walked into our hotel and I immediately pulled up my pants legs to reveal a big, angry rash all over them. They were so itchy, and I had no idea what it had all stemmed from. Within four hours, my sinuses started to fill and congestion overtook me, even effecting my voice and leaving me sounding husky. This was not how I intended to set foot in Rome, but that’s exactly what happened. Filled to the brim with medicines, I gutted it up and got to the train for the short trip from Florence, arriving at our lovely little hotel exhausted.

Determined to carry on as if nothing was wrong, we dropped our bags and set out to find city center. It was surreal to turn down a street and see the famous curved edge of the Coliseum up ahead, sitting there as if it was a modern skyscraper. We stopped for a bite directly across the street from it, and to the right was the Roman forum, so beautiful.

After our meal, Kevin started looking at his map to decide where to go next, and then glanced at me. All it took was one look and he knew.

“You need to go back, don’t you?”

I hate to be the party-pooper. HATE. But he was right.

“Maybe for a little nap, then we could get back out?”

We slept for three hours.

It became apparent that I wasn’t going anywhere else, and so we rethought our evening.

We had our windows open to the street below, surrounded by little cafés. It was becoming twilight, and suddenly an accordian started playing. It was so lovely, the sound floating up and in for our own little private serenade. Kevin got up and put his shoes on, telling me he’d be right back. About 20 minutes later, he came back in with a sack and grabbed a couple of waters from the minibar.

Spreading a big towel on the bed, he placed two plates he’d gotten from the hotel, and proceeded to serve up antipasto and lasagna from one of the cafés. So, our first night in Rome, we had a picnic of Italian favorites, with almost-tableside dinner music. It was lovely.

Unexpected, but lovely.

All of this was unexpected. Sometimes the lemons of life seem to be hurled at you with what feels like fierce furosity. But as cliché as this phrase is, there usually is lemonade to be made if you keep some sugar handy.

I turned in last night in Rome, after all, next to a man who has loved me well for 30 years. Those things make not being able to breathe secondary in the grand scheme. Yes, they make some exceptionally sweet lemonade.

In fact, that last one might be all the sugar I ever need.


“A joyful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.” Proverbs 17: ESV

***For my mother: Yes, I’m going to a doctor today. 🙂