It’s been a rough week. And there just isn’t time right now for a rough week to happen. There are gifts to be bought. Presents to be wrapped. Parties to be thrown. Cookies to be baked. Lights to be seen. And more. 

But regardless of my holiday to-do list, this rough week has happened nonetheless. 

It started last Thursday when my husband was traveling for work and found two bugs in his hotel room. I’m uber paranoid about bedbugs, and he knew as soon as he saw those suckers that he needed to investigate. He scooped one of them into a cup, and took it to the front desk. Later that day, they called and confirmed it was indeed bedbugs. 

Thankfully, these were discovered before he returned home, so we took all the necessary steps – and then some – to be sure these bugs did not find their way into our house. 

We had a plan, and that plan included a trip to the laundromat to wash and dry all of the clothes on high heat.

On Friday evening, after the winter carnival at the elementary school, my husband made his way to the laundromat to begin operation bedbug extermination. And in the parking lot, he was physically assaulted. 

He parked his car and walked over to the windows to be sure there were plenty of dryers available. As he was walking back to his car, he noticed a man approaching him. At first, he didn’t think anything of it. The parking lot was filled with cars, and he just assumed the man must be walking to his.

He popped the trunk of his car. The man quickly came up right behind him, and before he had a moment to react – the man punched him in the side of his head. Hard. Hitting his head, neck and ear. Completely unprovoked. My husband staggered backward and thought, “this man could kill me.” He didn’t know if he had a gun. He didn’t know if there were other guys. He didn’t know if he was getting robbed. He really thought in a split second his life may be over. 

The man hit him and then walked away. My husband stood up and bolted into the laundromat. He said it was like in a movie, when the record screeches to a halt and everyone looks up – and then right back down. Like nothing happened. 

“I was assaulted in the parking lot,” he said. 


He went over to the man at the desk. “I was hit in your parking lot,” he said again. The man looked up at him and then back down. He said nothing. 

Suddenly, this place didn’t seem so safe either. 

He came home and we cried together. In that moment, the bedbugs I had been so concerned about just hours ago didn’t seem so bad. 

And yesterday, I was diagnosed with influenza type A. There is no time for this. I am currently in my room surrounded by face masks, ibuprofen, Tamiflu, sanitizer, Lysol spray and Kleenex. Hoping and praying nobody else in my family gets sick. There are six of us total. And Christmas is in just over a week. We are supposed to have a party at our house on Friday. And celebrate Christmas with my family on Saturday.

But here’s the thing – my husband found the bedbugs BEFORE he got home. He was only punched once. It was very scary, but could have been so much worse. And, I went into the Dr right away and began Tamiflu quickly – so hopefully will not be too sick for too long. 

I am praying this illness passes quickly. I am praying nobody else gets sick. I am praying we kept the bedbugs out. I am praying for my husband who has been the victim of assault. And for the man who assaulted my husband. What in the world is going on with that man that he thought behaving that way was okay? 

Life can be hard. This is an incredible time of year, but it can also be so stressful. As I lay in bed, making lists for my husband and contacting friends and neighbors to see if they can buy gift cards and help run class parties – I am reminded of the blessing and importance of community. I am reminded that sometimes our plans are cancelled. Sometimes we are forced to rest. And reflect. Even in the busiest of times. 

I pray that over the next few days, as I am bedridden and the hustle and bustle of the season ensues around me, that I can find peace. That I can find a moment to rest. And reflect on the true meaning of the season. 

I thank God for protecting my family. It’s been quite a week, but it definitely could have been worse.

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To My Friend Who Would Rather Not Do Christmas This Holiday Season

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One thought on “Some Weeks are Harder Than Others: On Bedbugs, Assault and Influenza”

  1. I just read your post from last year about not wanting Christmas to come…. it’s just what i needed and everything i feel… i found myself yelling in my car on the way home from church tonight saying “I hate Christmas!!!!” as loud as i could…
    My boyfriend and i are taking a break, which is needed but hard. My dad got admitted to the hospital and has to have an amputation and i have no joy… i have so much to be thankful for, but i cannot wait for it to just be over!!! Thank you for that article!

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