Urgency and loss.
This year has proven to be a challenge for so many. Whether with health, business, social, mental, political, fighting for a cause or something else. I lost my dad. Lost a dear friend suddenly at the young age of 52 (my age - reality check). Have another friend fighting to get her independence back after a stroke and through it all, two words come to mind, urgency and loss. An urgency to LIVE. To race the clock. To accomplish, see, do, love and protect. But how do you accomplish those things in a pandemic? When we are supposed to be locked at home, wear masks that hide friendly smiles and dismiss any contact with mankind? At times it seems impossible.
A friend recently had an appointment at a doctor’s office. Like everyone else, she had on her mask, kept her distance from others but it was an elderly patient, also masked, who came up to her, gently touched her arm and struck up a conversation. She is high risk for Pete’s sake, what is she thinking? MAYBE, she is thinking, I only have so many years and I will be damned if I am going to let a pandemic keep me from reaching out. To connect. To understand, empathize but more importantly, to live. After a brief brush with breast cancer last year and as I creep up in age, the importance of living life to it’s fullest strikes a chord.
We are humans. And while we are not dogs, we are pack animals. Sure, we might like quiet time to ourselves. But to shut us out of life, of living, to cancel what keeps us going, be it work, school, friends, family, celebrations, travel, etc is absurd. It is not natural and as this is prolonged, will no doubt have a psychological effect on our well being.
Loss is another word I would use to describe this year. Having two seniors, we lost two graduations. My terminally ill dad who had been counting down, literally living for the days to watch his grandson take the mound since the 2019 season ended, survived the entire 2020 baseball season only to not see a single game because of COVID. He died only days after we would have played the state championship. Life was cancelled. Priceless times, cancelled. Things we can never get back, cancelled. Not to mention the people who died, alone - with no family around in a hospital because we have been locked out. It is a tragedy much greater than the virus itself and the effects - as it continues, yet to be determined.
I write this because for those of you who are struggling, I feel you. For those that long for ‘normalcy’, I feel you. We have NO IDEA how long we will be on this earth. EVERY day is precious and we want to live each day as if it is our last. But it is hard during a pandemic. Just know, you are not alone. Your frustrations, sadness, anger, confusion are felt by many. And in that, we are a pack. Where we may not be together physically, we are most certainly together mentally. We need to be careful about which hamster wheels we jump on and know which ones and when to get off but, we will prevail!
When all of this started and we were worried about all the plans that would no longer happen, we reminded ourselves that we are lucky. Our children aren’t being drafted to go to war. We are here. We are together. Things could certainly be worse. And this is all very true but, I still have this feeling of loss and a feeling of urgency. The losses are water under the bridge. I cannot go back in time and have to accept what is. The urgency - to race the clock, is what continues to burn. As the old saying goes...and I use ‘old’ relatively, YOLO! You only have one life to live. So while we are told and limited as to how we can live it right now, rejoice in what we have. The simple pleasures. The time we do have with the ones we love. Technology has no doubt been a vital piece for so many because it does make it easier to connect but, I still long for the days where hugs are given freely. Smiles from strangers exchanged and seen without a mask. And memories are made, not lost. There are two things that I know bring people together, sports and music. I look forward to the days when stadiums are packed, marching bands play and you can listen to your favorite bands play at a local venue. We will get back there eventually but until then, dream of a better tomorrow and...
Stay safe. Stay strong. Stay healthy. Know you are not alone. Live. Love. Rejoice. And most importantly,