As we approach the second month of ‘lockdown’, the task of finding your ‘happy’ is becoming more challenging by the minute. Holidays, birthdays, and celebrations have passed and been put on hold, with face time our only connection with family & friends to mark these special events. My mom turned 84 yesterday. Normally, we would all be together at one of our homes, but instead we surprised her with a front lawn social distance celebration. When she came outside, the look on her face was pure joy. It was so good to see my mom, despite not being able to hug her, As a special surprise, I called the fire department and they were able to come by with the sirens flashing and horns honking – the firetruck was packed full of fireman, as was the ambulance that followed. it was so special, and most importantly my mom was thrilled! It was certainly a celebration we will not forget. When driving back to New Jersey after seeing my family and not being able to hug them or go near them, my heart was in a thousand pieces. But going over the GWB and seeing NYC empty and quiet? Even stranger.
We are all aware of all the frontline heroes that are fighting the fight during this pandemic. Many of them have been featured on the news and in social media, but there are so many behind the scenes heroes that need to be recognized. I have to give a big shout out to Paramedic who is one of these heroes. I have known Mike for about 13 years, he is my good friends husband and the father to my godson Luke and his twin brother Jack, who are 4 &1/2. Mike is working long shifts in a huge territory with constant exposure to Covid19. He has temporarily moved away from his family home in order to keep them safe – day after day he arrives home to silence, not to the sequels and hugs of his twin boys & Beth, his wife of 11 years. My kids are having a tough time understanding this pandemic, and they are young adults. I cannot imagine being with two 4 year olds day in/out with no back up, no relief, and trying to reason with them & explain why daddy isn’t home. Beth set up an Easter egg hunt at the home Mike is staying at, and he watched from an upstairs window, The picture broke my heart – yet it is their reality right now. I wish my doorbell would ring and those two beautiful faces were standing there waiting to come in, so we could ghost hunt and play hide and seek in Brian’s office…how I miss Jack & Luke. I am so proud of Mike, his dedication and courage during this time of crisis is beyond admirable. This is temporary, yes, but this is a young family separated by this virus, and waiting for their daddy/husband to come home.
Each day we wait for the daily updates and reports from local officials, and silently pray that things are improving. While things are better, the curve is far from flat. Our ‘lockdown’ period has been extended, and frustration is creeping up in our home and in our community. I have to constantly remind myself how GOOD we have it, while others are suffering so. We lost a friend on Wednesday to complications from COVID19, and sadly we had to watch his graveside service via live stream today. How tragic is was watching his widow and her children, alone by his grave. He deserved a proper funeral, and he deserved a celebration of a life well lived – yet it was taken by this evil virus, and the image of my friend by his grave with her children will forever be embedded in my heart.
I am anxious for the day when we can get back to ‘normal’, yet I know nothing will ever be the same. We will fight, and we will win, and we will create a new way to live. Until then, stay home, stay safe, and be well.