Breaking news from the hospice: “Virulent Happiness”

On Friday, my friend E told PW from her hospice bed, “I’d like a visit from Lucy, and I’m making this request in the strongest possible terms allowable by Christian theology. I guess at Emmanuel Church that gives me a wide berth, huh?” Then she chuckled.

So yesterday around noon, I arrived at E’s room with Lucy’s leash in one hand and a large white pizza with spinach in the other. We had a grand time.

At one point, E said, “I always try to take the time to be open to the possibility that I might be wrong. For instance, this morning when I woke up, I felt like this would be a dreadful day. And then I thought, ‘But maybe I’m wrong!’ And then you called and made my day. This exercise saves me from a lot of anxiety, and probably explains why I’m so virulently happy.”

Ever the writer, she caught herself using an unusual adjective. She added, “I don’t think I mean ‘virulently happy.’ I think I mean ‘vibrantly happy.'”

Mindful of my waning Spring funk, I suggested that if happiness spread throughout the land like a virulent infection, that might be a really good thing.

“Yes,” E nodded. “That would be a very good thing!”

When I wondered what Psong would be next in my Lenten discipline, the blender of my Joybrain gobbled up E’s “virulent happiness” as she stares down the last days/weeks/months of her life, and by the time I got to the Off switch, the result was the Psong “Runaway” by The National.

Lyrics:

There’s no saving anything
Now we’re swallowing the shine of the sun
There’s no saving anything
How we swallow the sun

But I won’t be no runaway
‘Cause I won’t run
No I wont be no runaway

What makes you think I’m enjoying being led to the flood?
We got another thing coming undone
And its taking us over
We don’t bleed when we don’t fight
Go ahead, go ahead
Throw your arms in the air tonight

We don’t bleed when we don’t fight
Go ahead, go ahead
Lose our shirts in the fire tonight

What makes you think I’m enjoying being led to the flood?
We got another thing coming undone

But I won’t be no runaway
‘Cause I won’t run
No I won’t be no runaway
‘Cause I won’t run
No I won’t be no runaway

What makes you think im enjoying being led to the flood?
We got another thing coming undone
And it’s taking us over

We don’t bleed when we don’t fight
Go ahead, go ahead
Throw your arms in the air tonight

We don’t bleed when we don’t fight
Go ahead, go ahead
Lose our shirts in the fire tonight

What makes you think I’m enjoying being led to the flood?
We got another thing coming undone
We got another thing coming undone
And it’s taking forever

I’ll go braving everything
With you swallowing the shine of the sun
I’ll go braving everything
Through the shine of the sun

But I won’t be no runaway
‘Cause I won’t run
No I won’t be no runaway
‘Cause I won’t run
No I won’t be no runaway

What makes you think I’m enjoying being led to the flood?
We got another thing coming undone
And it’s taking us over
We don’t bleed when we don’t fight
Go ahead, go ahead
Throw your arms in the air tonight
We don’t bleed when we don’t fight
Go ahead, go ahead
Lose our shirts in the fire tonight

What makes you think I’m enjoying being led to the flood?
We got another thing coming undone
We got another thing coming undone
And it’s taking us over
And it’s taking forever

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2 responses to “Breaking news from the hospice: “Virulent Happiness”

  1. J,

    What a wonderful Psong! And how much we can all learn from E’s words about “the possibility of being wrong”.

    I hope the pizza was yummy and that Lucy got at least a small bite :)

    G

  2. I love it when the wrong word pops out and then becomes right. Years ago, a preacher at my old church, in her pastoral prayers one morning, prayed that we be guarded against “creeping gentility.” Given earlier remarks in the service and the sermon, we all thought she probably meant “creeping senility” but the phrase she actually spoke became a useful term among the congregation and beyond. If viruses can ever be good for us, the one that spreads happiness has my vote!

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