All of us are keenly and sadly aware of the horrific impact of the COVID-19 virus on our own state, our nation, and the world. At times it seems as if this old planet will not be able to take much more illness and death. For many of us, imposed rules have caused something akin to cabin fever, bringing out the worst in some people, as that always does. All of us are tired of it all.
Very recently, members of my own extended family have actually felt the terrible sting of the death of a family member due to that dreaded plague. The whole thing is just awful.
I sat here earlier this evening, knowing I was up against a publication deadline and wondering what, with the recent news of the death in our family, I would be able to write about. Truthfully, I wasn’t in the mood to compose a monologue for you or anyone else. I had no idea what to do. To paraphrase Dr. Suess, I puzzled, and puzzled, ‘til my puzzler was sore.
This year has been long and strange, to say the least. The COVID-19 problem has been terrible; the racial strife and a much-contested national election have been the icing on the very awful cake that is the year 2020. By mid-November I was in great need of a positive break from it all.
I decided tonight that the best thing I could do would be to share the fact that I got to take that positive break. It was an experience that began Thanksgiving week and won’t end for several more days. Wow!
I will not say if it has been by car or computer, by airplane or by phone, but I have had the wonderful privilege of spending some much needed time with many of my dear family members and a few friends.
I had many quality conversations with family members that I hadn’t been with very much this year; some of whom I hadn’t seen since last winter. I WILL say that Facetime is wonderful and real-time together is even better.
Christmas is right around the corner. For most of us that coming holiday, and then New Year’s Day a week later, will be different this year. Here’s the bright side. We may not have the crowds at our homes that are usually there, but we should be consoled, at least a bit, by the fact that putting off those big gatherings for a few more months will be worth it.
I encourage you to celebrate Christmas carefully this year, perhaps in masks and all, but also in cautious optimism that by summertime you’ll be able to host a huge family barbecue, and that there will be people in attendance who might not even be with us then if we are careless now. Rest a bit in the fact that we live in the most wonderful, powerful nation on Earth and that this virus will soon be conquered because of that very fact. Santa will soon be here; so will the vaccines.