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Sunday, March 29, 2020

March Thoughts - I See You & You are NOT Alone!

Usually the end of March is a very sad time for me. March 24th marks the anniversary of my dad passing away. I was still a teenager when cancer took him from me and even now, nearly 30 years later, the cut is deep and raw. This March I had such conflicted feelings about him being gone. Even before the cancer, my dad had a compromised immune system, a chronic cough, and he was never really well. I'd like to add that he never complained. As I watch my mom struggle with not being able to hug her grandchildren during the Wisconsin #SafterAtHome Covid-19 social distancing, I just think about how I would feel if my dad WAS still here.

I am protective of my mother but she's overall healthy for her age. I could probably still go visit and bring the kids, but it's not worth the risk. I don't want her to get sick and I certainly don't want to be the one who caused the problem. I worry constantly about whether she is doing alright physically and emotionally. How would I feel if I could only see my dad on a video? How would I feel if he was having a health crisis and I couldn't be there to hold his hand or put lotion on his feet? For the first time in my life, I found myself thinking "I'm really glad he's not here to see this".

My heart goes out to anyone and everyone struggling through this difficult time. I find myself wondering what life is going to look like on the other side of the pandemic. Will we appreciate one another more? Will we find it easier to be gracious? Those first few days, I'm sure we will be cautious - what if it's not really gone? What if that hug we've been longing to give could still be risky?

I am incredibly thankful we live in the country and can still get outside to play; it makes it easier to keep the children from being anxious. I am incredibly thankful my children are all healthy and safe AND right here with me. As of right now, we are able to snuggle on the couch and watch a movie. We still have kisses and hugs. I am thankful for technology so we can see Grandma's face and hear her voice each and every day. I am thankful for food and a warm house.

Even though I'm thankful for all these things, my heart breaks for my brothers and sisters who are struggling. Please know I see you. I see your forced smiles as you try to keep things as normal as possible. I hear the hitch in your voice when you assure people you are fine.

Hang in there friends. Reach out if you need to. This is uncharted territory for everyone. Your feelings are your own and it's okay to be sad. It's okay to be frustrated. It's okay to have a hard time turning it off at night. You are not alone even though you may be isolated.

Sending big virtual hugs. Remember to find the helpers. Remember to BE a helper.


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