Each of us manages the hand we are dealt.
It’s a stretch to think of anything good derived from the COVID-19 pandemic we have been dealing with for the past year. But hard does not mean impossible.
The pandemic became reality for me last year on the 3rd Tuesday of March the last time our online book club met. With permission but trepidation our group assembled in the Tavern. We rearranged the tables and chairs to separate the appropriate 6 ft and we proceeded. We knew that this would be our last meeting together for a while, but we didn’t expect it to be this long. One of our members died that week.
Over the year, the group has been able to remain healthy and continues to read on their own. We will resume meeting in person in April making it a full year between in-person meetings.
Shortly after, the unexpected happened. Between May of 2020 and March of 2021, I was able to spend more than nine months with my daughters. What an indescribable pleasure it was for me to be with these two wonderful people in their home. This would never have happened without COVID-19. But as much as I treasured the time with my girls, we would have traded this time for a pandemic free year.
That wasn’t my option nor is it anyone’s power to change the course of events. The only option for all of us is to make the best of what we were dealt.
While I felt blessed to be with my daughters, I also appreciated their husbands, my sons-in-law, who generously welcomed me into their vacation homes where their limited time was precious.
For the past year, I was immersed in a three-generation family – well almost. Each of our four grandchildren had graduated and were working or attending school full-time. And this brings up another unexpected positive. Three grandchildren remained fully employed, and one spent his last year of law school mostly on a computer. I didn’t hear a complaint from any. Instead, I saw them put their heads down, follow the rules, and remain focused when they were working at home. A granddaughter, who is a travel agent, worked harder and with the brightest spirit taking business off the books as people cancelled en masse. “That’s OK Grampa” she said, “If I do my job right, they’ll be back”. And they are back.
The virus took away my usual life but opened the door for me to be with my family in a way that never would have happened otherwise. Others whose livelihood has been threatened, and families with children unable to attend school and those who have lost loved ones, or themselves have been taken by the virus deserve our sympathy and support.
None of us has the power to change events of the magnitude we are facing, but if I did, I would forgo every good thing I experienced this year and trade it for a normal year. We don’t have that power so all I can say is thank you to my family for being with me, staying healthy and to wish everyone the best outcome possible from this dismal year.
Contributed by: Gene Helveston
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