Ten weeks in

A memory from 2009 surfaced on Facebook and prompted this message. The memory was of a Sunday morning, having coffee with my husband, reading a stack of Sunday papers and commenting that we needed to get ready for church. I had written that it was a beautiful day. So much has changed in 11 years. My husband died in 2013, I moved from Jonesboro, Arkansas, to Little Rock and later to California. How good is it that we don’t see the future? The pandemic we are in the middle of has no boundaries, and it is not going to magically go away. 

Today was a nice quiet Sunday morning, although in California instead of Arkansas. I read the newspapers online, missing the stack John and I would share over early morning coffee. And then I got ready for church on Zoom, which I couldn’t have imagined 11 years ago. It’s so quiet the dogs intently watch. I think they like the sound of the voices as we greet one another.

After church it was time to be outside, enjoying the sunshine and trimming the dogs, though Mary Kathryn Marcom’s critique is that I will never make it as a groomer! John Marcom calls every day, and we usually talk about the news and I reassure him that his sister and I are fine. He and his husband, Arif Hasyim, are isolating at home, though they take a walk each day and usually send a picture of a beautiful place or colorful flowers as they know that I love seeing the different varieties.

It has been over ten weeks since I have set foot out the front door. Mary Kathryn and I were talking today about what has been the most difficult challenge during sheltering-in, and to me it is remembering to take a day at a time and not project to the future. I can name the easiest parts which include being very grateful to be sharing a house with my daughter and having a nice yard to enjoy. I am grateful for wifi so that we can share through virtual meetings and can be entertained by lots of different sites.

It is amazing how inventive people have been. I am grateful that I have developed a newfound appreciation for flowers, plants, even the tiniest leaf. We have plenty of food and a comfortable place to be. With three little clowns that keep us smiling, it’s difficult to think of life without our furry companions. And faith, remembering that God is right here with us as we travel an unknown path.

What I have a terrible time wrapping my head around are the people who have lost loved ones to Covid-19, not even being able to have relatives sharing the grief process, those who don’t know how they will make a payment that is due, the ones who are seeing their businesses slip away, the ones who need to go back to work but can’t find good child-care options, the ones who literally don’t know if they can feed their families. And I think about all our front-line medical workers, from support people to medical personnel, who put themselves at risk daily.

We who are at home can take a little boredom to stay safe and, most of all, keep from putting the lives of others in jeopardy. Please wear a mask if you have to go out, practice social distancing, wash your hands and remember a smile with your eyes shows that you value the life of the person serving you.