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EVERYONE HAS A STORY - Week Seven


Week 7

April 11th – April 17th

IF I FORGET TO PACK SOMETHING, I CAN ALWAYS GET IT THERE

I remember when my sister got married in the early 70s’, preparing to honeymoon in London for a month. She stocked up on enough shampoo, deodorant, face wash, lipstick and toiletries to fill another suitcase. My new brother-in-law assured her that if she ran out, she could always buy more. “Take one of each. You don’t need that much…London has shampoo.”


As I look toward spending another week in quarantine, I have to laugh. I told myself the exact same thing before I left, taking just what was necessary for the first couple weeks. Afterall, Hawaii has shampoo, and deodorant, and anything else I might have forgotten to pack. Who would have thought that we would be stripped of the ability to jump into our cars, run into Target, Costco, or the grocery store to get what we needed in order to take care of our simplest needs, our basic supplies? It is sad and laughable at the same time. I’m ordering Suave shampoo from Amazon! A five dollar purchase that seems like a waste of human effort to pack, load, ship, and deliver. Of course, there are other necessities that I order simultaneously, but just the idea that I can’t step into a shopping situation to provide instant gratification is wearing thin. It’s been almost six weeks since I’ve driven a car, shopped for groceries, bought gas, purchased a Starbucks…oh…I miss those creature comforts!


Our normal patterns will re-emerge slowly, and it will be up to each individual to keep or shed old habits. Something very obvious is staring me in the face. I had packed personal belongings to last me for seven weeks. Half of it was in anticipation of luaus and fancy dinners, maybe somewhere where capris and t-shirts wouldn’t be enough, and the other half was casual. I would estimate that I brought ten percent of my wardrobe. It’s sobering to realize that I have gotten along quite nicely with one suitcase full of clothes, and the necessity for more now seems greedy and over-abundant. There simply is no need for the dearth of material goods that is waiting for me when I return home. My footprint is small by most standards. I don’t collect anything or cling to useless items. I live with and care for my belongings a long time before discarding, like my six-year old computer and a Blackberry I used for ten years, but there is still an excess of goods that need to be decreased, and only the most precious of memories should remain. Notice that I said, “should.” It will be interesting to see if I am up for this task, if I can reduce my footprint even further, or if I will put it off for another day that will probably never come.


This was Easter Weekend. Our world spun like most other days, except the little one still had a visit from one very important bunny. There was no fanfare building up to this day from a marketing standpoint, and it was refreshing. Because cable, Netflix, Hulu, and Prime have overtaken regular TV, and they are all commercial free, the vendors had no way to hawk their wares. Stores that would normally lure children to the shelves full of toys, candy and seasonal merchandise were off-limits to most. From what I observed, families contained their celebration to dying eggs, watching Easter services on TV, playing outside in their yards or creating indoor Easter Egg hunts indoors if their weather didn’t permit. Does anyone else see a trend? Is it all bad?


I ache for those who are fighting the virus, and for their families who are watching them fight from a distance. My daughter is feeling better, after 21 days of enduring the worst illness of her life, and I’m feeling guilty that boredom is my only complaint. I shiver when I think of families who are being faced with unimaginable grief, told they cannot visit, touch, or console loved ones in their last hours. I am not suffering, not in the least. I just feel helpless. For the first time since I left home at eighteen years old, I cannot make my own decisions, and must follow the rules set by one giant parent figure. The world is telling me what to do, and I must listen, accept, and adhere.


I know that one day this historical re-set will be a part of everyone’s past, and it is important to appreciate the present. I can’t ignore the fact that my gift throughout this ordeal is the company of my niece, nephew, and their beautiful six-year old daughter, all of whom just want to protect me and make sure I don’t get sick. In concert with my children, they have instructed me to stay put. Home will come when it is ready, but for now, I can’t waste the time complaining or wishing. One of these days, I’ll be happy I had these moments. Just the visual impact of the flora, snapping photos of every imaginable color of hibiscus, watching little lizards dance on the lawn (as song as they don’t crawl up my leg, I’m good), snails as big as my fist, and sunshine almost every day. Nope, not suffering, just a constant churning in my stomach and aching in my heart. And like everyone else, the burning questions, when will this all end, and what will it look like when it does?

UPSIDE

  1. Bravo, the service dog is home! The vet had no answers for his sudden collapse, but felt he may have ingested something in the yard or the nearby hiking trail.

  2. My daughter is finally feeling better…three days in a row!

  3. KEEP FOREVER was #1 in five categories on Amazon! Even though I will not be able to host a release party, join book club meetings, or schedule book signings, I can say with conviction that I have done my best. The rest is up to the universe.


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