When I imagined what times of war and devastation would look like, I never imagined this.
I imagined eating onion or bean soup, flatbread and oatmeal, but each night we dine with seafood, takeout or hamburgers. I plan for meals in my own kitchen and relish the time to cook. We pull out recipes for what we have on hand, treating luxury as the next best thing.
I imagined we would go walking from town to town in search of food and supplies. I never imagined we could get things delivered to our homes.
I imagined our home as abandoned for something better. I never imagined our homes would be the safest place to be, and here we sit, around the table or watching movies we haven’t had the time to see. Or sometimes we walk for exercise and return home to continue our work or to fight our need to do something.
I imagined we would huddle together around a campfire to share physical and spiritual warmth. I never would have imagined that we would move all of our interactions to Facebook, Zoom, email and phone calls. These are the computers we worried would take over our world. Now they are our main mode of communication.
I imagined I would hold my baby tight, afraid she would become ill, but instead I fear for my parents, relieved my daughter will survive even if she gets it, terrified our parents won’t get the care they need when they do. We decide to stop taking her to daycare, not for her own safety, but ours. We stay separated from our families, knowing we could infect one another if we traveled. We see the first holiday on the horizon and make plans to celebrate without making physical contact.
I imagined we would grieve over burying the dead in unmarked graves, and now we are grieving the necessity for online funerals and weddings. We wait in horror knowing that if things continue to escalate, the statistics suggest we will all lose a friend or family member to this virus, but we continue making a daily trip here and there. It’s hard to know when we are risking our lives or the life of another...this invisible and extremely patient enemy takes its precious time.
My little girl smiles and laughs as if the virus lives in another universe, and so we enjoy the known joys in front of us while we wait for the unknown challenges to come. We hope for a resurrection and new life after the end of the pandemic, and we breathe a little slower, a little deeper.
May we be more patient than our enemy, and more resilient than we can imagine in the shadow of death.
March 24th, 2020