In the beginning of the pandemic I was really frightened. This novel virus was spreading like wildfire and way too many people were dying. Without really knowing how it was spread, what precautions to take, it left us with so many questions, without any clear answers. The science needed time to catch up . So I kept myself hunkered down with my hubby at our farm in Upstate NY. As information and data started to emerge I followed the reports about the number of people infected, not only in the USA, but globally. It was mind boggling. How could this happen?
The first six months I basically stayed home . My four children and grand children were asked to stay away, the data at the time showed it was killing mostly older adults, which I am. To stay safe, I felt that was a wise decision since the vaccination was still in development.
It was a very long six months .
I have a tight knit family, we really enjoy each other's company and spend a lot of time together, usually. At first, I was content to talk on the phone or facetime with my family, but after awhile I could feel myself getting depressed, as I missed the hugs that we always shared. I really missed the little ones as I know how quickly they grow up. I yearned to see them again.
I worried daily about the safety of all of them, but it was especially tough on my daughter and one son who are frontline health care workers. I checked on them often but surprisingly and thankfully their facilities were well stocked with PPE, personal protective equipment that I prayed would keep them from getting sick. They also were the first in my family to be tested regularly.
A calculated risk.
Although the virus was still raging across the US, my depression began to get the better of me. I was having bouts of crying jags that left me feeling alone and isolated. Since my daughter and her future husband were being tested, I felt confident enough to have them visit. It was so strange at first, as they pulled into the driveway for our first visit after months, I could feel my tears welling up. So happy to see them, yet, still afraid that somehow this horrible disease would invade my space. So I put on a mask and went out to greet them.
Laughingly, my girl said to me:
"Mom, you don't need that mask, Mike and I were just tested, we are fine and so are you", my daughter reassured me. I burst into tears and hugged her fiercely, not wanting to let go.
My baby girl pulled me through.
That weekend changed my perspective. We talked about lots of good things but once the conversation turned to the pandemic I realized just how knowledgeable my daughter was about how to handle it. She helped me through my fears, reminding me just how fortunate I was to be a healthy senior. I was not obese, had no pre-existing conditions, took vitamins and had always had a healthy diet. Surely, even if I did contract the virus, I would survive.
It was then my whole approach to this pandemic changed. I was going to keep my circle small, allowing one family at a time to come and visit us. I already knew that where we lived, in the rural mountains of Upstate NY was the place to be. Plenty to keep us busy, with no need to go anywhere. With such a small population in our town, we could go for months without speaking to any neighbors. We kept it to just a wave, as they passed in cars or from across a field. The harvest from last season was still in abundance and the sap from our maple trees would soon run, giving us the pleasure of making syrup over an open fire, enjoying the crisp air and each other's company.
I also purchased a few books, one on the recommendation from my friend @lizelle, "Mindful Moments" "Living Your Best Life In Imperfect Times", by Eric Vance Walton. This book on meditation became part of my day .
Of course, Chicken Soup books were always within reach to give me a chuckle now and then. I started practicing yoga again also.
It all helped.
Yes, I was getting out of my funk. Spring was around the corner and the numbers were dropping. The pandemic was still happening and I kept praying, but I no longer listened to daily reports.
Instead, I listened to my daughter's words that rolled through my mind.
"we are fine and so are you".
Just be happy mom, love you.
As far as changing future plans? I have just ONE change, I am more mindful now that each day is a gift.
Lose the fear and enjoy life.
Be happy, don't worry.
Jackie O Silver