It was another ordinary day. I’ve lost count of the days to be honest, but I was in the kitchen with my teething baby making her a bottle, while consoling her. Suddenly the kids started yelling in excitement as they stood at the front door. They said there was a big bag outside and asked if they could get it. Perplexed, I followed my eager children to the door. We had been nearby, in the living room, yet I hadn’t seen anyone at the storm door, or heard anything.
When I read the bag, I was astonished!
It was a large, neatly packaged brown bag with the most thoughtful message on the front. With a baby on one hip and four other kids tugging at me to open it, we sat and opened it together. It was full of brightly colored plastic Easter eggs, and to my surprise, they were all filled with candy. I thought of the generosity, time, and thoughtfulness put into it and was deeply moved. Someone in the neighborhood thought of a fun way for everyone to celebrate Easter while social distancing.
To be honest, I am still really sad that this is where we are at right now. Easter looks so different this year — everything looks so different. But while things may be uncertain, I am certain that there are still good people in this world. On the days I go into work in the emergency department, I pass by the most encouraging signs put up by anonymous people. There have been several businesses that have sent meals, treats, and kind cards for the staff. There have been tons of items donated, and people working tirelessly sewing cloth masks.
Things are so different right now.
It’s hard for me to look at the news headlines. It causes my anxiety to skyrocket. I go to work and we all have to wear masks. I work at a computer for 12 hours trying not to let the weight of the unknown pull me down. I sit in my car in the parking garage sometimes in tears, unsure if I will still have my job of 13 years. Then, I come home to a “sanitizing station” my husband has set up for me in the garage.
I tiptoe past my baby’s room, hoping not to wake her because I cannot hold her until I’ve showered. I take all the precautions that I can take in hopes that I don’t possibly bring home anything to my family. During all of this, my three-year-old son’s therapist for sensory processing disorder quit, and it just about broke me. He has grown so close to her, she worked so hard with him, and she never gave up on him. I completely get it though; she had to do what was best and I think that’s really any of us are doing right now.
My husband is losing a lot of hours, bills are piling up. It’s hard not to let my anxiety add to the pile. I finally decided to reach out to my doctor for a therapist, something I probably never would have done before. I scroll through my timeline seeing all the perfectly planned out activities and charts some moms have mapped out. And it’s easy to feel like I just don’t measure up. To be honest, I got so overwhelmed with multiple emails from all of my kids’ teachers; so many links, and codes leave me feeling like I can’t keep up. We are doing the best we can. I set up i-Ready for them on the computer, and I have them take time out to read. But honestly, a lot of our days are so unstructured and spent outside. There’s a lot more screen time, and Cheez-It crumb trails. We are just taking things day by day.
Yet somehow, through this darkness, light is shining brightly on the things and people that truly matter.
It took a pandemic for people to value all those on the front lines. It took a pandemic to appreciate the importance of all jobs. It took a pandemic to see just how much we need to stand together as a community. It took a pandemic to be little more grateful for the little things. And in the midst of so many things being cancelled, I am sure of one thing: compassion will never be cancelled.