Don’t Lose Heart!

Sometimes beauty can come out of a very difficult situation if you are willing to look for it. This truth may not be apparent, though, especially in the middle of a pandemic. One is not necessarily inclined to believe that positive things can come out of a crisis. The coronavirus has certainly created a tremendous amount of hardship on so many levels for everyone. It’s still hard to fathom that life as we know it was turned on it’s head less than one month ago. Who knew that basic things like food shopping, or any kind of shopping for that matter, would have restrictions, procedures, and such long lines? Social distancing is a new term that we never heard of prior to March. Indefinite school closures, working remotely, and being together ALL the time is the new normal. All of it is unsettling at best and enough to drive us mentally crazy, especially with no end in sight at the moment. Our special children in particular, may be confused and anxious and most of us never envisioned home schooling our kids.

In our situation, virtual learning is not an option for Brian, as he learns best in the literal moment with actual people present. The one exception is a music class on YouTube that Brian’s teacher posted, which he loves to death! Homeschool for us consists of “learning as we go”, with Brian participating throughout the day in various activities of daily living and self care. We go for long walks in our neighborhood and sit outside on the deck. We read books, play games, watch shows/movies, and eat a lot! It’s a routine that works for us, at least for now, and I’m relieved that Brian is agreeable to it. Never has “one day at a time” been more meaningful than right now…

Another unexpected consequence of the coronavirus is everyone being home together. Under normal circumstances, we complain that we don’t have enough quality time with family due to the hectic pace of our lives. Now, the opposite is true. While we may never have such quality time with loved ones again, we also need personal space for ourselves and balance in the midst of this pandemic. It can be very hard to have moments of privacy and requires very intentional planning. We need to create routines of our own for our sanity and well being. Now more than ever, self care and safe spaces within our homes must be done for the long term if we are to endure. Looking for laughter in any form is my mission, along with meditation and prayer.. These “3 Amigos”, laughter, prayer, and meditation, hold the key to my mental and physical wellness. Without them, it would be impossible to go forward, especially while it’s still uncertain when we can resume our lives . Learning to let go of our traditional routines as we know them has been hardest of all. I’m sure that most of us will never take for granted again the most ordinary of freedoms, like outdooor mobility and shopping, once the coronavirus is behind us.

One of the silver linings of the coronavirus has been my Mom’s arrival to our home. She has been with us since last week and it’s where she needs to be. She is almost 89 years young and remarkably still lives on her own in the home where I grew up in. Our family home holds many precious family memories for Mom, especially those of my Dad. The current pandemic, however, has necessitated her relocation to our house.

All of us are adjusting pretty well to our “new normal”. Brian was initially confused by this transition, but he recovered quicker than I thought he would have. Mom’s presence has been absolutely wonderful for Brian, and he is her catharsis and “love bug”. They are sharing a special time together, creating memories, and sharing joy. It is a gift to witness and memories in the making that I will always cherish. I don’t take this for granted, even through those many moments of “cabin fever”. I remind myself when I feel moments of frustration that one day I will look back on this extended time spent together with Mom, Jim, and Brian with great fondness and appreciation, another silver lining of this unprecedented time in our lives.

I almost forgot that tomorrow is Easter Sunday, my favorite day of the year. Easter signifies Hope, Heaven, and Redemption. God has given us eternal life and His assurance that He will always be with us, even now through the coronavirus. It may not feel like it or seem so, especially with so much stress and uncertainty. In my personal experience, it’s exactly when God seems so silent or far away that He makes His love known. Perhaps it’s through a store clerk who offers to bring your full shopping cart to your car unsolicited , which happened to me this morning at Shop Rite. Or maybe it’s through the encouraging words of your neighbor during a social distance conversation. An unexpected phone call from an old friend or a card of encouragement also qualifies. And there are many more examples!

Life as we know it may not make sense or seems unfair right now, but we don’t walk alone and never will, especially in the difficult times. God’s Angels are all around us, doing amazing things to help us remain strong and get through this pandemic. We know them as the Heroes On The Front Lines, ie, healthcare workers, retail workers, etc. Our heroes may also be among us at home, providing us with the levity and sustenance to keep going. Hope during this very difficult time definitely requires faith, which is based on evidence that may not be apparent. But if you are willing to look within the imposed confines of our current world , chances are you will experience hope in the most unexpected ways. Remember, this pandemic WILL pass, we will get through this! Most likely you have been through many other challenges in your life, I know I have! With God’s loving grace, all things are possible!

Wishing you and your loved ones many moments of serendipity, laughter, and love, especially during this pandemic, because we need these things more than ever to cope! May we all be blessed by the angels put in our path and be a blessing to others as well ! Happy Easter! Until next time, thanks for reading. 😊