Tuesday, April 28, 2020

#sol20 Accept

This month,
I expected
To be wrapping up the semester
To be visiting, eating out,
Time filled with friends, relatives,
To be planning an epic trip,

I had not expected 
To be away from
Loved ones, friends, stores
For 7 weeks with no end in sight.
To be reminded while watching the news 
Of the daily death counts
Like during the Vietnam War.
To miss my littlest one's first steps
Along with her first trip around the yard.
To have a prescription delivered
When I could easily walk/drive to CVS.
To find X and Y shaped sticks,
On a walk with a PreK.

This month,
I have learned
To accept.

Tuesday, April 21, 2020

#sol20 Socially Distant; Yet, Closer

Not that long ago, I heard
The rumble of cars and trucks,
Heading to jobs, shopping,
Endless tasks and activities,
The regular roar of jets,
Streaming overhead,
Moving tens of thousands
From place to place,
People, neighbors,
Coming and going,
Focused on their missions,
Silent waves
Offered from moving vehicles.

These days, I hear
The sorrowful refrain of sirens,
Punctuating quiet streets, lights a blaze,
First responders, working,
Sadly, responding to pleas for help,
The mournful tones of church bells,
Failing to beckon even a small crowd
Punctuating weekday mornings, afternoons,
Reminders of time and lives, lost.
Neighbors asking how you are,
Listening to your response,
Socially distant; yet, closer, concerned.

Saturday, April 18, 2020

#pandemicmemory Pandemic Losses

I am writing today because I want to remember a small moment from that left me in tears.

I was going to drop the now-mandatory-if-you-go-anywhere-masks I made for his parents in the mailbox but at the last minute, I decided to deliver them.  it was my first outing in more than 5 weeks. I felt uncomfortable behind the wheel.  I felt awkward driving a route I've driven many, many times perhaps because the usually crowded road was nearly empty.

Yet, I felt like a kid on Christmas morning as I pulled into the driveway and my grandson came running towards my car.  "Stay on the grass," his father who was still inside called out before I could do so.

Yet, he kept running, until somehow, I found the energy and restraint to call out, "Stop right there.  You have to stay on the grass."

And he did. He stopped 8 feet away.  Yet his arms were open as if to hug me, something so natural and usual upon my arrival.

I stayed in my car, something foreign to me.  I'm a Meme and I scoop them into my arms and love them unconditionally.

The look on his face was one of disbelief.  At 4.5, how could he possibly understand this pandemic and the need for  social distancing that defy the love a grandmother has for the child she has rocked, cuddled and loved more than she loves herself?  I wanted, no I needed, a hug from him as well as his brother and sister.

"Can you play toys with me," he implored because that is what I do when I come, normally. "Please," he asked?

I explained that I could not stay but that I would be back, soon, although I am not sure what soon means in this new era of a pandemic.

The visit was short but I saw, from a distance, his Ninja training site and his new fire pit as well as his amazing garden. Then, with tears held back as long as I could, I headed to my car and left. It was raining out, or perhaps it was just my tears, but the losses of life, love, time, cuddles, books, time........were on my mind as I drove away noticing that I had missed a Google-Duo chat with another of my precious loved ones.

The losses of life, livelihood and businesses are unprecedented.  The loss of time-with-grandparents-aunties-cousins-family is another loss, harder to measure, but real.  

Thursday, April 16, 2020

#pandemicmemory 4/16/20 Price of Gas

I am writing today because I want to remember a small moment from yesterday that left me thinking.

I don't get out much these days as I am hunkered down at hone, trying to do my part to help flatten the curve of the invisible enemy terrorizing the NYC and her suburbs.. I know I am not the only one staying home as my road is quiet as can be most of the time. I haven't been to a store or even to the local CVS in over a month!  I can't even remember the last time I bought gas! I' e officially become a hermit.

Yesterday, I had to mail a letter and fortunately I had a stamp; however, for some reason, I decided to take it to the post office myself rather than leaving the envelope for the mail carrier! Perhaps it was the isolation talking or perhaps it was my desire to see further than I can safely walk in isolation; whatever the reason, I was shocked to drive by the gas station and see the price of gas!  

At first, I though I was imagining what I saw or that perhaps this gas station had closed; however, there seemed to be a car at the pumps!  I glanced to my gas gauge promising to fill up on my way back; however, I still had more than half a tank of gas! 

These are scary, unprecedented times to be sure. These are devastating, destructive times for families and businesses. These are times that make us all want to get our affairs in order and to be prepared, just in case. These are times when I do not need to buy gas and the price is

$1.84 /gallon
And, I have no place to go,

Tuesday, April 14, 2020

#sol20 April 14 Lesson Not Learned

I'm pretty sure it was the photos of masks 
During the Spanish Flu, 1918-1920
Got me reading articles likethis,
Got me thinking about my grandparents
Young adults, lives ahead of them,
New parents during that era,
A never, to my memory, talked about era.

Yet, 675,000 Americans were lost,
20-50 million people, lost.
Were they just too saddened?
Surely they lost friends, family members,
Were they just grateful it ended?
Did they not want to remember the fear?

Yet, it seems to me we need to remember 
After the first case in Philly, 
Determined to stop the spread,
They outlawed coughing, spitting and sneezing,
Yet, 10 days later, 
When things seemed a little better,
Perhaps to buoy public spirits
They hosted a parade for 200,000.

It was a lesson
We all should have learned in school.