Tuesday, March 31, 2020


Ahhh, 2020!

Reclaimed dreams. Excitement. Sorority Centennial. Graduations, (2), Trips, Reunions, Concerts, Recitals ....

The year that started with me popping sparkling cider and dancing in a room with my family has become the first quarter the stuff of scary movies.

I, am probably not alone, when we wonder, what in the world happened to 2020?

This was the year my oldest daughter was to vote for the first time (and did in a local election), but was to use her journalistic skills as a special projects cohort with Teen Vogue called Teen Vote.

It was her senior prom year - dashed, her debutante - dashed, her senior spring break - dashed, and her college Admitted Student Days - dashed. Everything she was looking forward to that were kicking off during Spring 2020 is become the virtual reality I chagrined every time my son was playing video games.

She is not the only one with moments of mourning what was, as the news in my state of more-and-more cases with increasing death tolls, becomes a collective doom. Despite our best efforts as a family, I know this is impacting her and her more extroverted little sister who is missing her entire track season.

I told my daughters what I told myself, it is ok to not be ok with this.

It is ok to be upset and disappointed with yet another major event postponed as far away as September. How do you keep the excitement about looking forward when it feels so numb in mourning the todays' loss?

Postponed is not cancelled.

I started to think about what could be an opportunity in the days when almost everyone in my home is walking around in pajamas or sweat pants.

We've had more family meals. We are a very busy family and had Sunday as our sabbath meal. Covid-19 meant we had an entire two weeks of meals together and slowing down.

We had a life that was nearly snatched from us through gun violence and that life is alive, walking, talking, and recovering, safely in a part of the hospital away from Covid-19, the incident happened just before my state shut everything down.

Postponed is reimagine

It is giving us more time to think about what we really want out of something.

For some, more time to imagine what could it be like if this work-at-home became a permanent thing and they were able to be more creative.

My younger daughter decided that since she couldn't go hang out with her friends, she would have face time and did an extra cleaning of her room to prepare. She also had school that returned this week on Zoom and she didn't want her teachers to see her bedroom. She picked up her crocket and started making little things, something she put away when she went to high school.

I already work at home, but imagined my entire family here with me, every day, and began to inhale. It has been a time of not-rushing. I didn't have to rush to make breakfast that the girls barely touched as they leap frogged down the stairs to get to school on time. I didn't have to think about how long my day was going to be with after-school activities that sometimes cut into family time.  I began to wonder what we would lose in going back to "normal."

My older daughter has been more creative and has been treating her bedroom like her assumptive dorm room. Being-at-home has allowed her to write, whittle down her college list a bit more, and connect with her French sister for even longer conversations than they had before. She pulled out enough clothes to start a store and has them ready to donate. She is reimagining what she can do with her career and even had a couple more bylines this week.

I watched them come and go while I sat in my office. I smiled, received extra hugs, and wanted this more than I realized I wanted them all at home.

Postponed is Living

It was not ideal, this time when the world has postponed living outside. It was not what we expected. It was not what we planned. But it is what we have and in it, I hope we find our life again.

Spring is coming and in a little while Summer and in a little while, we can get back to the business of being.

The world will correct and heal herself. She is already breathing new air as she is not choked through the consumption that has driven modern society. She is inhaling and exhaling, renewing and rejuvenating.

We will live, again. All of us. In a new and different way.

We will live, knowing that we were always mean to live for each other.

We will live, appreciating those who hold life in their hands, those who enhance living, those who serve for a living, we will, collectively, be new and better.

We will live, refreshed from needful rest and try to promise ourselves to never run to the grind of exhaustion again.

We will live. And breathe. And celebrate.

It is beautiful in September.

Saturday, March 28, 2020

She's Back with Coffee and Contemplation in These Covid-19 Days

She's back! With a steaming latte, sun streaming through the balcony, and her lounge pants as the work uniform of the day.

I Never went away.

Just enrolled in seminary and engaged in three years of intensive study, writing, contemplating, and trying to put spiritual meat on my social justice bones.

I'm a womanist, always have been, and while an introvert, wondered what my good in the world could entail. One of the reasons I went to seminary was a credential I needed for some of the spaces I wanted to enter. My daughters were getting older and as I saw their Post-2016 world unfolding under someone who clearly was unfit to lead, I wondered about centering spirituality, study, and sisterhood.

Now, here I am, back, in these Covid-19 times. My state is rapidly increasing with cases.

What in the world happened between watching my high school Class of 2020 daughter contemplate college choices, go on an orchestra competition trip in early March, to come back to the world literally shutting down?

Things have been moving at the speed of light and like many, I watched what was happening in China, Italy, and wondered what our CDC and administration was doing about it.

It seemed that they knew back in November. We could have been safe-at-home during winter break. I could have skipped the faith and social justice conference in Las Vegas in February when we were in the heat of the Democratic primary season. I would have certainly checked our toilet paper inventory before there was a mad rush to the stores two weeks ago. (sidebar, who doesn't keep cleaning products, toilet paper, and soap in their house on the regular?, anyway...)

It has been a whirlwind of rapidly postponing events since March 13th when my daughters returned to a spring break that wouldn't be. College admitted student days were canceled and are moving to virtual. There went prom, her debutante, and for some, graduation. Colleges closed. The wise churches and places of worship closed. Everyone started to discover they could actually work remotely and Zoom was a thing.

While no one for sure is certain they don't have the virus, we have taken every precaution, including staying in as much as we could (we had a family emergency that required a trip before the hospitals shut down last week). We have made the best of it as we could. The girls spring break extended three more days (snow days) until the teachers figured out how to do online school for 5000 kids in our school district. Life will forever be altered.

I live in the St. Louis County area. The first reported case was around the 3rd or 4th. A wealthy twenty-year-old girl returned from Italy to Chicago, took the train from O'Hare to St. Louis and became ill. She was tested at the hospital near me and was told to self-quarantine. Her dad disobeyed that order and took his younger daughter to a swanky Daddy-Daughter Dance on the 7th. They lawyered up. They live in one of the Uber-wealthy suburbs.

There are rapidly increasing cases. A young thirty-one year old died last week. She was the first. She didn't have underlying health problems.

This thing is moving so fast and exposing all the flaws of the America in a way that will either shatter us forever or motivate us to renew refreshed for everyone's sake. We are truly our brother's and sister's keeper in these Covid-19 Days.

So, what do we do?

If you are like me, you make sure there is plenty of coffee and milk/creamer alternatives in case you can't get out. You survey your home for a place of respite. You look at all the unread books on your shelf. You adjust to pajamas as work uniform. You spend time with family. You connect with family and friends via technology. and most of all, you stay in.

With latte in hand.

Waiting for the day of sunshine.