Community//

Family in a New Light

Leasons I have learned from a close friend.

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Earlier this year we were thrust into a state of uncertainty. Overnight, venues, activities, and seemingly everything else shut down. Entire cities ceased movement. Places such as Las Vegas and New York looked like ghost towns on an apocalyptic scale. Even the energy in the air seemed to be disrupted. Going to the grocery store became an event in which you kept your head down and avoided eye contact with everyone. Life as we know it changed drastically and we all had to adapt.

But, He Already Worked from Home

For some, shutting down an entire office complex meant everyone went home for remote work. Others lost their jobs entirely, unfortunately, but he was already used to working from home. It has been well over 10 years since he worked outside the home, so, essentially, he should have been adjusted to this type of existence, right? Wrong.

Things Happen Fast

Mid-March he took his oldest daughter to a doctor’s appointment. It was on a Friday. They went to the appointment followed by a quick lunch. Little did he know it would be the last real out to lunch his daughter and him would have for a while.

Around 2:45 they arrived at the elementary school to pick up their other three children. Upon arriving, the attendant working with the children told them that school was canceled until further notice and the teachers would be sending home assignments for the foreseeable future. No problem, he thought. He was already home, so no need to worry about finding someone to watch the kids, so they could just treat this like an additional spring break that was scheduled in just a few weeks.

A Small Break Escalated

After weeks of being at home under a shelter in place order provided by the governor, the announcement came down that school would not be reconvening as previously thought. This is where it finally seemed to hit home. They had been following the rules and being very careful, but now he was in for a 5 month long summer. No vacation, no place to take the kids for a break, nothing. What now?

A Funny Thing Happened

At first, he was very upset that this virus had turned into a full on pandemic and still was hurt at the sheer amount of people that have gotten sick and died from COVID-19, but he understood the need for increased patience at this juncture. He was finding it difficult to entertain 4 children while he and his wife worked from home.

Normally, they would send them to a few summer activities and VBS for a little break or head to church as a family a few times a week, but things are different this summer. He explained to their children that this summer was just a fluke and they all had to adjust. Children are far more adaptable than we give them credit for, he thought.

His wife and he decided that they were going to come out of this pandemic stronger. Their family had become routine to them and sometimes, they took the little things in their kids lives for granted. They understood that they could not take them to the park or have a family outing at the zoo like normal, but it was not all bad.

Thinking of Others

Where they live is rural Georgia. They have a house in the country and plenty of room for kids to play outdoors. One morning, he was out on his front porch working while the kids were running in the yard playing in the sprinkler and he realized just how blessed they were even in the face of a pandemic. He thought of how many families are now stuck in a small apartment without the ability to allow their children out into the sunlight. It broke his heart and he realized that he had been taking small blessings for granted.”

After speaking with him I realized that all our lives have changed. I realized things were not all that bad. We have a lot of blessings that others may not be so fortunate to have. I decided to take this time as reflection and reevaluate my own life. I have been given monumental blessings. 1 healthy, beautiful kid, a husband that loves me, and a home where we are all safe, comfortable, and feel loved.

Everyone cannot say the same things and my heart aches for those in the nursing homes and hospital rooms that cannot have visitors at the moment. It aches for the couple without children to warm their hearts and ultimately for the ones that lose someone they love during this current pandemic.

Life is a precious gift and we all have to contend with challenges in our own way, but we are given the tools we need to make our lives a success if we choose to utilize them. I find myself hugging my dauther and husband more, teaching my family more life skills, such as sewing and cooking, and generally enjoying all the little things that make life so worthwhile.

The pandemic will eventually end and I hope that I learn from my mistakes and shortcomings to become a better person for my family and my friends in the future. Learning experiences may be hard, but they are necessary for a fulfilled and fruitful existence. I hope all of you stay safe and hug your loved ones just a bit tighter.

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