As I sit here and reflect on the last 20 days I’m struck with a deep sadness. See, we as humans are experiencing a grieving process. For me it is grief that my children must grow up in a time where they are afraid to go to the playground. Where they see adults fighting over toilet paper. Where my daughter, who is just 8, asks me daily “are we going to die” because her school decided scaring the kids into washing their hands was better than being honest and rational with them. Where I must tell my oldest son, whom I only get to see a few times a month anyway, that he can’t come for Sunday dinner anymore. I am disappointed in humanity.
I’m also humbled by huge acts of kindness and achievement I’m witnessing. People who said “I’ll never learn to do that” are learning to make connections via video chat or picking up the phone and making a call instead of a quick text. Companies who said remote working wasn’t possible are moving employees to remote access so they can keep working and keep them employed. I’ve watched neighbors check on neighbors. Those who can get out find supplies for those who cannot or can’t afford them. My neighborhood Facebook group is working to help those who have lost their jobs find work doing yard maintenance.
I was blessed to receive a Facebook video chat from my dad. He had a brain tumor removed in June and then developed Bell’s palsy in December. He is in the high-risk category, and I have been fearful for him. See, I haven’t seen my dad since April of 2016, and he lives 2000 miles away (by car) and he has aged 20 years in the last 6 months. Speech is hard for him and he’s lost mobility in his right side, but with help he was able to call and talk to me and my kids. Finally, my daughter’s teacher called to check on me (not my kids), internet setup, or our food needs (we’re blessed to be fine for now). She just wanted to check on me and reach out as a mom and woman.
Something I’ve learned in the year I’ve been with the Family of Women is we women need each other. I used to joke that I was “a man in a past life.” I’ve always found building relationships on any level easier with our male counterparts. Women, in my experience, were not to be trusted. In the last year I have met some of the most amazing, accepting, frustrating and inspirational women. And I trust every single one of them. They have challenged my core beliefs, pushed me outside my little box, and made me realize that I need women in my life. If we are going to survive and find a new normal, we need to connect with the women in our circles. Now is the time to check on that girlfriend you keep “meaning to call” or send that quick message to a girlfriend who might need a pick me up cause she’s safe at home with her kids. Allow yourself to grieve the loss of freedoms, convenience, and routine, but remember there is always light at the end of the tunnel. My hope is we come out the other side stronger and wiser. Take care of yourself and reach out to the women in your circle.
– Submitted by Melissa V.