Famous Last Words

My family went to our cabin on Whidbey for Memorial Day as usual. The boys built mattress forts inside, dug a WWI style trench on the beach, went to a parade in Coupeville, hiked around Deception Pass, and had an amazing time.

There was only one glitch that weekend. One tiny blip among all the lovely moments: Rocco threw up all of Friday night. We considered packing up and heading home, but  on Saturday morning he was up before anyone else, bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, asking if he could go to the beach.

“It was probably just something he ate,” we said.

Boy, were we dumb.

An hour after getting back Sunday, Vincenzo said he had a stomachache. 15 minutes later, he was at the toilet. Then I got a text from my sister, saying she got it too. An hour later, both Leo and I started up. It was not a one-off kind of thing either; it was an EVERYBODY OUT kind of sickness where you threw up again and again and again and again. Fortunately, Leo and I were on a syncopated rhythm. As soon as one of us went in (blaaaaargh! flush!) the other went in (blaaaaargh! flush! ), then the first (blaaaaargh! flush! ). It was almost poetic.

Each time a new person got it, a group text went out. It was like watching major cities fall as the tanks rolled in. Jeanette’s boyfriend, then Michelle, then Luke, Ari, my dad…but all the while, Mom bravely held out. We thought she was going to make it. On Tuesday morning, her text came in. Somewhere in the distance  a lone trumpeter began playing Taps.

We sent other texts too, comparing symptoms. One end or both ends? Fever and chills or just fever? Every half hour or every two hours? I’ve never before been jealous of someone who threw up twice then had a day of fever and chills.

Once all was said and done came the daunting task of cleaning and sanitizing the bathrooms. You might think what we did is extreme…


…but then, Norovirus is not something to be trifled with.

Ginger sweet potato soup
Teriyaki pork
Won tons
Candy shop pizza

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