For those in the know, Jerome is my Jazzercise instructor. I’ve been attending his classes since, I’m guessing, 1997. Over time, of course, you become closer to your instructor. Such is the case with Jerome and me. Even though we aren’t the same age, of the same era, from the same geographic location, or even the same race, we have A LOT in common. We’re both from “back east” (he from Pennsylvania) and hard-core. We believe in education and find the tendency to excuse parents for not doing better by their children appalling. There are things he will tell parents that I would love to. As he points out, I’m a white woman and that sh*t doesn’t fly with minorities.
Over the years he has been a good sounding board and sage counsel. He was the soundest voice when I desperately wanted another child. He reminded me that the second child is NEVER as good as the first (“I love X,” Jerome told me, “but he ain’t nearly as good as his sister. His mama and I shouldda stopped when the getting was good.”). He told me I was lucky to have a good man, and that these decisions took two. After all, he reminded me, marriage is hard. Why did I want to push something that might break it when I had a good thing.
At times when I’m not happy with my spouse, he’ll overhear me grousing. He’s always quick to remind me that I got lucky. He’s seen a lot of marriages in his time, performed a lot to (he was a minister), and that I found myself a good man who is secure and allows me to enjoy the things I need in life. Then, while I’m feeling sheepish, he’ll remind me, “..And Girl, you know, you ain’t easy.”
As such I’ve come to depend on his guidance, even though I hadn’t really been in class in 2-3 weeks to enjoy it. When I returned today after a long absence, he was there, but not to teach. He had been feeling poorly — complaining of not being able to see, being tired, and not up to Jazzercise. He was still delivering a good class ’cause his 50% is better than most people’s 100%. However, he finally ended up at the doctor where it was discovered that some artery/vein in his stomach had, I guess ripped or burst, and he was bleeding internally. He was told he should have 45 units of blood, but he only had 22. That’s scary.
He was told that, had he been a normal man of 60, he would have bled to death or merely gotten so weak he died doing something like driving. It’s a blessing that he is with us.
He needs to take the next 2-3 weeks off to build up his blood. We will, of course, give him that time to heal. We love him as more than our instructor. In the meantime, we can only marvel at the miracle of modern medicine in allowing him to continue delivering to us a program that connects our body and spirit.
I have to say, I had forgotten that in the last few weeks. But even with him gone, I felt his spirit and it lifted me.
Please pray or send good vibes for his speedy recovery.