The 3 Ds

by Rod Smith

The Mercury / Wednesday

The three Ds

Distance, darkness, disease (feeling unwell) – these three henchmen working together are bad news.

Some years ago the boys and I were in Hawaii when I began to experience dreadful, very sharp stomach pains. Hawaii really is quite heavenly but if you are not feeling well even Hawaii can feel like the other place.

Distance plus disease does that. Distance from home amplifies the disease and the belief you have one.

During daylight the pain – sharp as it was – seemed to come and go and things felt somewhat tolerable.

At night, and when in the dark, the pain would hit and my mind would run marathons and before long I’d be convinced I was dying. I repeatedly told myself I should never have adopted the boys, very bad idea, only to die on them while they are sleeping in paradise. I visualized my body-bag being loaded into the hold of the plane, my sons peering at it through the United economy window, orphaned boys returning from paradise as confused unaccompanied minors. I could see, right there in the darkened room, tearful and fretting flight attendants fussing over them, plying the boys with ice cream to distract from seeing dad rough-handled onto the conveyor belt below like overweight luggage.

Darkness, disease, distance – were doing their work.

When you are far from home and not feeling well and it is night – things always seem worse.

When we arrived home I told my doctor I was dying.

“It’s not that easy,” he replied.

The next day I passed a kidney stone.

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