Hiccups


Dark days / Friday, July 31st, 2020

I am living my life along smoothly, humming my little hums, enjoying my family and my new rhythms, when I get a bad case of the (hicCUP)s. I immediately stop what I am doing and hold very still and tell myself NO. You are not going to let malicious external forces take over your life. There is one magic space where perhaps they will not have come; if you don’t stop them now you never will. I stare at the creamy distressed cabinet doors of my kitchen and I quiet everything in the universe and hold very, very (hicCuP) still.

Denial has not worked.

I roar out into the quiet, protesting the loss of my peaceful hour (hicCUp). I hate hiccups like I hate the plague, a violently intrusive unplanned. I go to the sink and fetch a glass of cool (hicCup) water. I drink it slowly, slowly, thinking of nothing but a smooth and healing end, and when I am done I hold my breath for as long as I can.

(HiccUP.)

There is nothing for it now but to endure, to tuck my head down and ride (hicCUP) out the unpleasantness. I wonder (hiCCup) does it make it worse to acknowledge it, or to pretend it is not there? (HICCUP) For the time, there is nothing else in the world but my own mind screaming at (hiccUP) itself to make it stop. I cannot step outside my survival to (HICcup) wonder how many other people are fighting their own battles with the undeniable and unexpected and unwelcome, when the world changes and the earth cracks in semipredictable devastations. I just (hicCUP) wait it out, the slow-moving patience of my outside person a sharp contrast to the twist-turning tension of my inside (hICcup) person and the dreading of the next bump. A Chinese water torture (hiccup) of uneven dripping. Or is it even? If I do not watch myself, I will start counting syllables and seconds.

Where will the next one land?

I prefer a smooth life, one of knowing what comes next and that A+B=C. I want a life that works rationally: good choices are rewarded, good people are honored, and good Gods rule the earth. I like saying yes to the yes things and no to the horrid things and believing that I have choices.

Perhaps they are gone now?

(hicCUP) There is nothing I like less than being out of control of my own life.


Some things cannot be spoken, and cannot be unspoken, lest we die. Are you well? I’ve missed you.

18 Replies to “Hiccups”

  1. Take care. It is dangerous posting things like this. My wife takes great delight in the hiccups of others. My condolences when she reads this post. πŸ˜†

  2. I love this! I too, hate feeling out of control of my life, and yet life is so unpredictable. Just when I feel like I have things figured out in motherhood, marriage, friendships, hiccup! 😜

  3. I have a memory about uncontrollable hiccups. Your family was helping my family get ready to move into that tiny log cabin on our 240-acre farm. Your dad and Johnny (somewhere around age 14 in my memory), were helping haul junk out of the dirt basement. Johnny had an unending case of hiccups, and after a while your dad teased him about if he was going to keep making such undignified sounds? Johnny complained that these annoying hiccups would NOT go away. So your dad paused on the rickety steps of that basement, got out his wallet, and produced a crisp $5. He told Johnny that at the very next hiccup, he could have the $. Johnny stood there, expectantly, and with incredulous anticipation of such easy money. But alas he could not produce even one more hiccup. They were gone. Johnny moaned in dismay, and your dad tucked his money away, as if he had known all along that he would get to keep it. πŸ˜πŸ˜‚

    1. Hahaha. It’s funny you remember that. My dad cured us of hiccup cases for years with that method. I can remember only one or two times when someone got to keep the money. I was always sure I could do it… But there were certain rules. We had to look straight into his face, and weren’t allowed to laugh while trying. πŸ˜‰ I think I should try this on my own kids, but I’m too scared of being impoverished.

  4. Yes! I like feeling in control too. There’s nothing less so than having those hiccups. And I love your sentence about the spoken and unspoken.

  5. So sorry! Truly, there is nothing that makes you feel less in control than those hiccup attacks. But, peanut butter, my dear….peanut butter. Cures it every time for my children.

    1. Unfortunately I know the cure for literal hiccups but not the onces that pounce right in my carefully planned day. Try taking a small glass and filling it with water, now drink out of the opposite side of the glass from you…and empty the glass. You will end up bent over in a quirky position, you can breathe between swallows but you cannot come all the way up for air, and make sure you twist all the way around for that last drop. Its the one thing that without fail, works for me. Let me know!

      1. Likewise. Hasn’t failed me yet, though sometimes it takes holing my breath and counting backwards from 100 while drinking upside down….

  6. And one more cure that worked better before assigned or family seating of COVID-19… ask the hicupper, yes, even yourself, β€œWho did you sit beside in church last Sunday?” You may have to come up with who it was before Sunday School and who it was after Sunday School but usually that cures the hiccups. This works best if the person being asked doesn’t know this is a cure, so I suspect the reason it works is surprise and concentrated thinking combined.

  7. I feel beyond the literal hiccups…those times when one event after another slams our souls, and we see no end… and no way to “fix. LIke being in a washing machine, and every time our nose is up for air, the next wave pushes it under. Courage, my literary friend, and His everlasting arms beneath.

  8. Oh, yes. Feeling with you, Sister, esp. the part about maybe not being able to step outside of my own survival enough to see what battles others are fighting. Or, if I can see, it just overwhelms me more because that is something else I can’t fix. The good news is that survival, while really important, doesn’t last. You either finally survive and thrive, or give up. I don’t think you’re gonna give up. You have too much and too many to live for. So keep surviving any way you can; keep hanging on to Jesus’ promises and knowing that He cares; and you will THRIVE again one day. Hiccups are a little like labor. πŸ™‚ Someday, that baby gonna come and you gonna be SOOO happy.

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