I can’t believe we are at the end of 2020. I started off the year by choosing “Roar” as my One Word 365 choice. Little did I know I would not be the one roaring my way through the year, but COVID 19 would instead.
Today is social distancing day 291. Trying to bring my thoughts together is difficult, simply because the circumstances of my life haven’t really changed from day to day. I had so many plans for my staycation, but mostly all I’ve done is survive. That, my friends, is a worthy goal achieved. Don’t let anyone tell you differently.
Last night, I took a late call from a friend who lost her mother to a savage, quick-spreading cancer. We talked about all COVID had taken from us, robbed from us in broad daylight. Though she was able to have the final, precious moments with her mother, her confidante, her best friend, she was robbed of all the moments she could have had if she had been able to visit her in the hospital the last few weeks. My aunt could have had her family visit her and not leave her wondering if everyone was dead because they weren’t coming to see her. My aunt didn’t understand. My friend doesn’t understand. I don’t understand.
None of us understand.
COVID has robbed me of visits, precious time with my family. Some aren’t getting any younger, and some are getting older at a pace that if you blink, so much is missed. Kids are missing the camaraderie of choir, sports, clubs, and special dances. The adults are missing some semblance of preciously needed down time. Others are missing company. We are all missing something.
Yet there are still people out there who complain about masks or doing anything to prevent COVID for their neighbor. Even if it was only symbolic and not effective, as they claim, they still show their selfishness putting their supposed inconvenience against showing they care for their neighbors, their families, OUR families.
One of my childhood “Dads” passed from COVID recently. Two more adults from my childhood have died as well in the same time period, and while they may not have passed from COVID, COVID is robbing the families of proper funerals, robbing them from the normal first steps of the grief journey.
Compassion is free. Kindness costs nothing. Empathy means you are emotionally mature enough to realize it’s NOT ABOUT YOU because you’ve felt someone else’s pain and you can understand what someone’s going through. Our country is full of people who cannot muster any of those three emotional states or actions. That’s one of many frightening revelations COVID has shown me about America in 2020.
I am hopeful, that as vaccines are distributed (disturbingly slow) that COVID, the great thief, becomes COVID the great professor of how to human better. Many lessons yet to learn, many battles yet to fight, but we made it to this point in time. A time to look back (20/20) and a time to look forward.
I haven’t chosen a “One Word” for 2021. I don’t know if I will or not. After all, I chose the voice of a lion for a year that began hopeful and bright that turned into a roaring storm that has tossed me about while staying rooted in the same place for way too long. I need to think more carefully and reflect on lessons learned in 2020 that began like a lamb, and is ending as a rain-soaked roaring lion.