OK. It’s time. Actually, it’s past time I’m finally admitting how besieged I’ve felt for, oh, I don’t know, the past three months. The first weeks were fun. After all, what knitter/crafter hasn’t fantasized about unlimited time to indulge in whatever our (my) current obsession is. Even better, with the internet, it takes only seconds to replenish whatever supplies – including food – run low. Until……
It finally hits home that Covid 19 means people everywhere and anywhere can sicken, and die, overloading what we (I) always took for granted, quick and easy access to healthcare, medication and, when needed, a nice clean, cool and private hospital room to rest and recover in. Then, there were none and wherever there was space for a bed became a room. ERs, hallways, tents, athletic fields. There’s no room for pickiness when Covid 19 comes to town and my list of things I always took for granted gets shorter.
Then there’s social distancing and quarantine. Not a problem until it means that the new grandbaby so long awaited can only be worshipped from afar and a healthy loved one can only wave and mouth words of encouragement and love or helpless and disbelieving goodbyes. My family has been so blessed. Me and mine have stayed healthy so far. We’ve been super careful and tried as hard as we can to follow the rules. Masks, gloves, wipes, handwashing, sanitizer – we do them and will continue to do so for as long as it takes because it has worked, so far. The list of things I’ve always taken for granted continues to shrink.
Then, on the last day of March at (naturally) midnight I fall and break my right arm, my first broken bone and the first time the idea of an ER visit scares me enough that I wait four more hours, in pain and fear before I cave and let Mr. iknead drive me there ONLY after he calls the ER first. Four freakin’ hours before yours truly admits that having my right hand totally pointing the wrong way probably should be checked out and we arrive to an empty ER and I mean empty. I was the only patient and had my own personal nurse, doctor and techs. The missing piece? I was alone. My spouse and ultimate support person could not enter the ER and was advised that he could sit in the car while I was there or could go home and wait for a call telling him I was being released. I asked (told) him to go on home and kept him updated via cell phone. Again, the list of things taken for granted shrinks.
If you missed the posts with the gory details, you can find it here.
Just when I think there’s a light at the end of the tunnel, I start seeing an unfamiliar name across social media. George Floyd. I learn that another Black man has died in police custody, all caught on camera and three words become a personal nightmare. I. Can’t. Breathe. I am a white female. I have never had to have The Talk with my children about their behavior when dealing with law enforcement because I was raised with the certainty that policemen are my friends. This is not a lie in my reality. The lie is that we all live the SAME reality. We don’t. Let me say up front that a family member is law enforcement and I would trust him with my life or anyone elses. Thank God that the vast majority of people that we trust with our lives are totally worthy of that trust but tragically, there is a small, unworthy minority and even one untrustworthy, out of control, power tripping and just plain mean authority figure is WAY too many. Ever. My reality is changing. Old attitudes are hard to change but I can hear mine groaning and cracking under the weight of my changed reality. I am embarrassed. I am ashamed. I am angry. I am learning. Most of all, I am changing. More shrinkage of the list.
Yesterday, though, at least a bit of my soul started to heal. Our second oldest grand girl received her first Holy Communion. I was so proud of her, so self possessed at such a young age, making a lifetime commitment. For once, I was glad to be wearing a face mask so my happy tears were hidden. (Happy tears or not, the ugly cry was front and center 😭). I felt truly calm for the first time in months, reassured that no matter what, God is in control, he knows me and loves me anyway. Life is tough at the moment for so many, and tougher for some than others, but it goes on, hopefully leaving a kinder, gentler nation in its wake.
June 7, 2020
Know what I learned today? The shorter my Take It For Granted list becomes, the longer my Gratitude List grows. Sure didn’t see that one coming.
In times of stress, the best thing we can do for each other is to listen with our ears and our hearts and to be assured that our questions are just as important as our answers. Mr. Rogers