Havin’ a Heat Wave!

hot flash noun. a sudden feeling of feverish heat, typically as a symptom of menopause.

Not every girl in her mid-thirties is as blessed as me. I get to take small, frequent vacations to my own, private, tropical resort every day. I can be sitting in a restaurant, standing at my bathroom sink, or even kneeling in church when – swoosh! – within moments I am transported to a hot, humid haven.

Two Sundays ago, I was sitting in a pew when a particularly sweltering climate change hit, and I looked around to see if anyone else in the nave had noticed the equatorial shift. Everyone sat perfectly still, snuggled comfortably in their cardigans and suit coats, while I sat there furiously fanning my sleeveless arms.

“I remember those days,” a woman in her fifties leaned over to whisper conspiratorially.

She was not the only one to have noticed my steamy situation. A cluster of women standing in the narthex after the service grinned at me and confided, “The night sweats are the worst!”

Even though most of these women are twenty-plus years my senior, they welcomed me – Lupron-induced-menopausal, little me – into their circle. I felt oddly special to be included in their conversation, like a youth at the kids’ table suddenly being invited to dine with the adults.

The most touching show of camaraderie, however, came later that night at our monthly Bible study.

“Here,” Gretchen smiled, handing me a canvas-covered fan painted with delicate folk art. “I used this during the worst of it.”

I fingered the wooden handle and raised the fan to test its canvas sail. My lips parted in sweet relief as the most delicious, refreshing breeze moved across my feverish cheeks.

“Isn’t it the best?” Gretchen exclaimed. “You can keep it.”

Yep. I am one, blessed girl. Bring on the hot flashes!