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Safe at Home

A good friend asked how I was doing, in the midst of this COVID-19 pandemic, knowing that my son has autoimmune diseases and is at higher risk than most. I wasn't sure how to answer because I have so many mixed emotions.

I am happy that all three of my sons are home. We self-quarantined for a week before our city's order was announced. We eat meals together, play games, and give lots of hugs. We argue, need our space, and drive each other crazy at times. It's wonderful. I love the noise.

I am grateful for the family and friends that rose up at a moment's notice to pack up all of my son's belongings from his dorm in Chicago, to drive him to the suburbs, to let him spend the night in their home, and then to finally fly him home. Those four days waiting for him to come home were very difficult. My only comfort was that he was in the hands of others that love him.

I am guilt-ridden. All of you are finally feeling some of my fears; fearful of what you can't see. You are getting a taste of what my past two years have been like. Wondering what each day will bring. Wondering if someone you love will become sick. Wondering how they will handle the illness and if they will be alright. I hate this for you, but it does give me some comfort. Isn't that awful? That's awful! I'm sorry. This pandemic has made my life seem normal. And I hate that for all of you.

I would tell you that I'm fearful, but I'm always fearful and you know that already.

I am...heavy. That's the only word I can think of to describe it. I love cooking, so I make great meals everyday. I love to read, so I've been picking up my beloved books more often. And, of course, I love being around my family. But this heaviness stays in my heart. Our world is hurting; it's grieving. It's hard for me to hear about the sad stories, because inevitably my mind goes to my son. His what-if scenarios aren't good. I can't go into that rabbit hole, because it is very difficult for me to get out. And so my heart is just heavy.

I am hopeful. You see, when the curve flattens and everyone goes back to hugging and eating out and going about their normal everyday lives, maybe people will be more aware. Maybe more people will sneeze into their elbows. Wash their hands more often. Stay home if they are sick. And maybe, if they do that, then he won't get sick as often. He will catch a bit of a break, and his body will be able to rest.

I am prayerful. For you. For us. For people we won't ever meet. I pray that same mantra over and again..."Help us. Guide us. Protect us." It fills me up and makes me feel like I'm helping in this crazy, sad, and overwhelming time in our lives.

So, this is how I'm feeling: happy, grateful, guilty, fearful, heavy, hopeful and prayerful. That's not too bad, right? More positive emotions, than negative ones. I wish the same for you. I hope you are able to find more positive, than negative right now. It's not easy, but I do believe that if you search for them the positive emotions are everywhere. Heart-warming stories, beautiful music, touching photographs, laughter with friends, love of family. All of these things help pull me out of the sadness of this time. And the fact that I get to be physically near each one of my sons and my husband every day. That gives me such peace and makes me feel safe. All of us home, all of us together.


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