The Benedik’s + Social isolation + Covid 19 Week #9…

Its been over a week since I sat down to try and write my blog.   There are/were a number of obstacles that got in my way, and to be honest, the biggest one was I just wasn’t feeling it.   It’s over two months now since we have been home, riding out the storm of Covid19.  There have been some positives in the last few days, and our curve is finally heading in the right direction.  Our restrictions are still in place, and people (well at least MY people) are starting to lose it, and frustrations are growing by the minute.  This is not an easy time for anyone.

As I have mentioned before, our family has been talking about and planning for May 2020 for the last 4 years.   Obviously, we couldn’t follow through with ANY of those plans due to circumstances beyond our control, and this mom was stressing big time.   First up was Riley’s Sweet 16 on 5/6.  We had a wonderful party planned in NYC with her closest friends, and when Covid 19 moved to town, we had to come up with plan B.   Not so easy during a quarantine, while our world is basically shut down.  Frankly, she was handling it much better than me, which is typical of Riley.  She is mature and wise beyond her years.   I ordered a huge box of decorations online, searched far and wide for helium tanks that were available for purchase, and arranged for Happy Birthday lawn signs to appear magically overnight.    Brian and I got up at the crack of dawn and decorated the house the best we could, I arranged the traditional birthday ‘table’, and we blew up a ton of balloons.   Caroline had also reached out to all her friends secretly, and arranged for a birthday drive by parade for later in the day.    This is where the true excitement set in for Riley.  She hasn’t seen anyone from school in almost 8 weeks, and most of them live quite a distance from our home.  I wasn’t sure how it was all going to turn out, but I baked donuts and boxed them up as a favor to anyone who came by.   EIGHTEEN cars came by for Riley’s parade – there was honking and screaming, balloons, signs, presents, and pure genuine love.   I am SO grateful to the parents who drove the girls over, circled the block and waited patiently in their cars while the girls visited in the front lawn.   It was truly magical.   Riley could barely contain herself when it came time to eat dinner and have cake, and she said it was a great day.  So with all my concern and worry, we pulled it off.   As we were coming in the house when all the cars drove away, a huge red cardinal appeared and sat on the roof of our house.  I know it was my dad celebrating with us.

The following day, our Caroline turned 21.  It has always been a challenge to celebrate the girls birthdays separately, so there is no competition for birthday notoriety.   We repeated our early morning decorating, and birthday table set-up, and made a huge fuss over Caroline when she woke up.   Her best birthday gift was the ability to see her boyfriend Matt, who is now considered “safe”, as he has tested positive for the Covid19 antibodies.  He arrived and the birthday took on a real level of joy for her.   We made it through celebrating two big milestone birthdays during a quarantine, certainly ones we will never forgot.   Cheer’s to my second child turning ‘legal’,

Mother’s Day has always been special to me, because I had both my girls on Mother’s Day weekend in 1999 & 2004.  I brought them both home from Valley Hospital on Mother’ s Day, with both sets of Mom’s waiting for us to arrive home when we were discharged.  This year, I knew there was a good chance I would be separated by both my mom and my mother-in-law, due to Covid19 restrictions.   Once again, creativity and technology saved the day.  We were able to talk and FaceTime with my mother-in-law in Florida in the morning and at night once again, and we were able to have a social distance visit with my mom in my sisters backyard.   Mother Nature gifted us with a beautiful day, and it was such blessing to sit outside and see my family, despite feeling suffocated with our masks on for such a long period of time.   Someone needs to create a mask with a hole in it for a straw, as it was tough to sip my vodka/lemonade drink with my mask on, and I kept forgetting, and well I spilled more than a few times.    Seeing my ‘people’ in person, with sunshine and laughter in abundance, was the greatest gift of all.

This weekend we are on to May event #4 of 5, Tyler’s “virtual” college graduation from Fordham University.   We are still on the fence about how we can salvage this event during quarantine, but I am working on it.  We couldn’t be any prouder of our first born graduating college – he has exceeded our expectations in so many ways.

I have been struggling this past week with my emotions, and trying to make the best of the situation we are all in.   While watching the news this morning,  this short message appeared in a television commercial that was showing tips on how to deal with the pandemic – Be Good At Life…   Such a simple message, yet such a strong one.  Is that all we need to do?  Be good at life?  I don’t take my life for granted, it is clear to me that I am blessed beyond words.  I think I have been good at life.  If this is all  it takes to be emotionally strong enough to handle social isolation during a pandemic, then why is it so damn hard?  It is clear we will not be returning to ‘normal’ anytime soon, but something has got to give. A few months ago I was grappling with the fact that I am turning 50 at the end of this month. Now, it’s so irrelevant to me, I just want to skip it.  The news, the media, and the constant television commercials are bombarding us with ‘facts’.  Yet with so many different opinions, approaches, and methods of dealing with Covid19, we are left with so much unknown.  The unknown is the toughest part.  I pray that we are on our way to winning this war against this virus- but there will never be a true victory here with so much loss.

Keeping all my ‘people’ in my thoughts and prayers as we all try to figure this out, I really miss you.





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