RESILIENCE…………. Every time I thought about writing about this pandemic, my thoughts froze. Trying to sum up the magnitude of the damage, terror, and fear that we have all suffered in the name of Covid, it felt like the task was immeasurable. I struggled to capture the sheer scope of devastation when I realized, everyone already knows what the cost of this pandemic has been on all of us. Tragically, some suffered in horrific and deadly ways and all any of us could do was pray. While I shared the horror and the instability and the isolation, I also found some small measure of peace. I could only control the tiny sphere that became my world and even that was an illusion. Still it was one I needed. An illusion I clung to for all it’s worth. I wanted to remain steady and hopeful for my family in the face of the ravages of Covid. I found solace in the small things while the world’s storms wreaked havoc and sorrow. I was grateful for my family and their safety. I was relieved that my sons were home with me and their dad and not out in the world alone where my worry and fear might have consumed me altogether. Our home became our sanctuary and our escape. I felt safe and comforted here where I can be with my family and close friends and retreat from the never ending updates about the virus and it’s terrifying mutations. I find myself looking for the little moments, the quiet moments of awe and gratitude to remind me that all that I really need is right in front of me. I am looking ahead with a mixture of hope, faith, and trepidation. In the meantime, I will hold the beautiful and poignant moments in my heart and say a silent pray for those we lost, those still sick, and the people on the front lines who stood between us and this virus.

Isolation

Exhale..

Exhaustion, fatigue, and dismay took over my life the last few months of the Fall. I found that I couldn’t find the energy to express how dark and isolated it felt watching our world spiral out of control. With no other recourse to stem the madness and despair, in the end, I just held my breath and prayed.

Like clockwork, the New Year arrived and the uncertainty and fear that had permeated every aspect of our lives, diminished some, and I felt air return to my lungs. While the pandemic continues to rage on around us, I still felt as if hope might have found a crack in through the light and we might all begin anew. Still, I held my breath and prayed.

The vaccines added another dimension of hope and a much needed glimmer of a future without masks and the end of this year long tunnel of death. My mind struggles to comprehend the magnitude of grief and sorrow that has permeated our lives, communities, and our families during this virus outbreak. I have felt such a sense of helplessness as the world seems to spin further and further away from any of the norms I have come to depend on. So, I just held my breath and prayed.

Things have shifted, and the winds and forces of dissension and hate, and been stalled. In it’s place, hope, grace, and faith have surged through. I feel like I can exhale, take a few deep breaths and hope my prayers for restoration, reconciliation, and respect will return to the forefront of our daily lives.

With each deep breath, I am hopeful that the words that have swirled around, under, and above me for months, will again find a space to resurface and offer me solace in a world gone mad. I have found my voice hidden under the fear, trepidation, uncertainty, and vitriol. My mind has slowed again and the anxiety that has been my constant companion, has diminished.

I am no longer constantly holding my breath. I still pray with the fervency of a devout nun and know without a doubt that it has been the only thing holding me together for the past few years. The other was focusing on the minute details in my life that I had previously overlooked. Rituals that have become tradition have given way to new and simpler traditions as the pandemic storm continues. I am filled with gratitude and grace throughout the day and know how lucky I am to have a safe, warm place to rest my head at night.

My life is quieter, slower, and calmer. I have not been able to control the swirling seeds of despair, but I have not totally succumbed to them either. I have loved being with my family and know that this interrupted year has afforded me more quality time with them than I might not otherwise have had. I have found peace in the comforts that I can control while wishing the world could feel the same.

I’ve taken time to see the birds, to watch the trees, to read many good books and in a sense, create my own reality. I’ve cooked, cleaned, and smothered my cloistered family, and held them close to control my fear and worry. I know now for sure, I need less in my life not more. I am grateful for my family, friends, and neighbors who have supported and encouraged each member of my family during these unprecedented times. And I am breathing easier with my eyes toward a new more prosperous future for everyone.

Stay well friends.