Today is my birthday. I had a weekend of celebration planned including going to a Western Dance on Saturday night and Swing Dance on Sunday night, and in between celebrating with my family so my grandson could enjoy my cake with me. But instead, it’ll be a mostly quiet day because of COVID-19 as we practice social distancing.
If I’d gone to the Swing Dance at the Raleigh Elk’s Lodge, I would have requested that Wes play one of my favorite Van Morrison songs, “Precious Time.” It’s a fun tune to dance to and reminds me that I’m only “queen for a day.” I may just pull it up on Youtube and dance in my sock feet in my living room! I can pretend as if I’m dancing with one of my favorite partners and sing the “que sera, whatever will be,” which is somewhat of a haunting line now.
I will get to see Mama on my birthday. That seems only right since she’s been the one person who’s been there since my beginning. Because she’s on hospice care due to some decline over the last few months (not due to new medical problems), Mama’s allowed one visitor. I’ll be greeted at the door by a staff member who’ll take my temperature, then I’ll sanitize my hands and put on a mask. I’ll try to explain to Mama that I’m not sick that “there’s a virus going around.” In the past week when we three sisters have gone in at our separate times wearing our masks, Mama’s had a questioning expression but then has gone ahead and eaten when we fed her.
Given the year I’ve had, it seems that having an unusual circumstance just goes along with everything else. Nothing is like I expected–including my birthday. Like all of us at this time, I can choose to look for the good in my days of isolation: getting extra rest, uninterrupted chunks of time when I make great headway cleaning out my house, longer walks, sharper focus on my eating to ‘ration’ my food as a way of attacking those extra pounds and decreasing trips to the grocery. There are plenty of things I’m concerned about, but I just have to do what I can to be healthy and mostly stay home and not worry about the rest.
I bought myself a bouquet of asters–simple lavender flowers that always bring cheer. I think Mama used to grow them by the side of her house and they were also plentiful by the edge of the yard of one of our apartments. They remind me of the reassuring beauty of nature– how in spite of what’s going on, there are still flowers blooming and bluebirds building their nests. I see God’s faithfulness in creation and know that that same assurance has been there for me, for us, over all of time.
I was fortunate that I did have a birthday meal with my extended family in early March. My cousin Lisa gave me a wooden banner that said, “Believe All Things Are Possible.” At that time, I thought of moving toward my new life and what possibilities will unfold after our divorce. Now, in spite of feeling that everything has stopped, in spite of wondering when will life return to normal, I know that eventually we’ll move forward; and so will my new year of life.
I’m facing a new chapter with the end of my marriage. Faith in God will see me through this Coronavirus crisis and through the divorce process. All of us need hope during this time, whether we’re going through a major life change, feeling the loss of things we’d looked forward to, or combatting worry because of the uncertainty of this pandemic.
My prayer on my birthday is that we all find the peace we need to get through this trying time, that we experience thanksgiving for the opportunities provided during this season, and we see possibility for what is ahead.
This is Precious Time. Blessings to You All.
How About You?
What have been your biggest losses during this time of COVID-19?
How do you find hope and let go of your anxiety?
What are the gifts for you in this time?