So…according to some wack-job in California, the world will be ending tomorrow. That means I don’t have to clean my house. Not that I was planning on it anyway. I don’t think I have cleaned my house top to bottom in about 10 years. The last few times my house was really, really clean it was at the hands of someone else.
For a short but glorious time two years ago, I had a housecleaner, courtesy of my great friends that I met through my gym. I got friendly with them around the time of my cancer diagnosis–possibly because of my cancer diagnosis. I had been going to that gym for about 7 years and I tried not to interact with anyone. I just went to my classes, worked out in the back and left. There was one girl in the back, Elaine, and her mother, Ruth, who I started to talk to in the early morning classes. I think I told them first about my cancer. Through Elaine and Ruth I became friendly with a few of the instructors, Rose and Heather, who then ran a benefit for Breast Cancer at the gym in my name.
At one point Rose, Heather, Elaine, Ruth, Peg,and Jane all pitched in to pay for a house cleaner for me while I was going through Chemotherapy. They barely knew me at that point. It was an act of kindness I will not forget. Two woman showed up at my door and spent all day cleaning. Washed the floors, cleaned the counters, scoured the bathrooms, changed the sheets. And they came every week while I was in treatment. It felt decadent for me to have this luxury but I knew it was because of what I was going through and that one day I would be strong enough to clean for myself.
The last time my bedroom was cleaned and free of strewn laundry was the night I had my mastectomy and was in the hospital. My sister, Mary came with her friend Nancy and cleaned my bedroom like it had never been cleaned and bought new linens for the bed and fresh curtains. It was an incredible feeling coming home from the hospital, weak and broken, to be able to lay down in a brand new bedroom.
And then there was Kathy and Carla. Who showed up at my house the night before my very first Chemo treatment with a bucket of supplies and a mop. They knew how important it was to keep out germs and how susceptible my immune system would be to infection. When they left, my floors were sparkling and I could breathe easier.
I am not the cleanest person in the world. I seem to be far too busy these days to be bothered. But at least now I am able to clean my house and am not hampered by illness or too sick from treatments. I just choose not to. I know it will get cleaned, eventually, after I run and write, and eat, and make necklaces, and shop, and pay the bills. It will get done, maybe tomorrow. Oh, well not tomorrow, I guess because the world is ending. From what I understand only the ‘good’ Christians will be saved from this Rapture. If that is the case, then I guess I will be left behind because my mother told me that ‘cleanliness is next to Godliness’ and when God gets a good look at this house–I’m in big trouble!
And if the world doesn’t end tomorrow and there is someone in your life that has cancer right now and going through chemo and you are wondering what you can do for them? Hold off on the flowers and fruit-baskets. Instead, either get them a housecleaner or show up with a bucket and mop. Or contact this organization Cleaning for a reason. And if they protest, don’t listen, that’s just foolish pride. When someone is weak and sick, a clean house can do wonders. Seriously, it’s the nicest thing you can do for someone.