My morning routine has been more or less the same for the past twenty-one years. When the children were little, the early morning was my time to leisurely drink my coffee and read the paper before the daily mayhem of raising babies that are eleven months apart traditionally entails. I would wake up at five am, throw on my robe, open the front door, grab the paper off the doorstep, and make myself a steaming hot cup of coffee.
My routine remained the same as my children grew into toddlers, pre-teens, and teenagers. It continued throughout my divorce, but then reason was slightly different, it was to avoid my soon to be ex, who would purposely invade my space in order to make me as uncomfortable as possible while we lived together as the divorce was pending.
My 20 year old daughter is now back home as her University is closed due to the pandemic, and my routine continues. I wake up early, as I now share a dining room table as work space with my daughter or my roommate as I lovingly refer to her when she tells me that my laptop is taking up too much space, I open my front door, get the newspaper off the doorstep, wash my hands, make my coffee, read the newspaper being careful not to touch my face, finish reading the paper, wash my hands, and have a quick three minute cry. I cry because we don’t know what our immediate future holds, I cry because I am scared of the unknown, I cry because of the young fitness instructor and her baby, who posts daily on instagram about her husband that has been on a ventilator for over a month and has not woken up yet, I cry for the people who have lost their lives and were all alone in a room, I cry for their families, I cry because I worry about my own family and I cry for the children because if we are scared of what the future holds, what will their new future look like? And then I stop and I continue to stay positive because that is the only thing that will get us through this crisis. I stop because I think about all the humane and kind stories that have come out of this pandemic. I stop because I remember that I survived a divorce that my ex thought and hoped would destroy me. I stop because the sun is shining, we will get through this, because we are New York Strong. I stop, I smile and I continue with my day.