Taking a break from gallivanting around the world to bring it to you straight here. This is HARD. Today is day 41 by my count. My mom was hospitalized three weeks ago and diagnosed COVID positive. It got REAL around here fast. I wrote an essay about it that HuffPost published this morning. Check it out in my Clips. Also, the featured photo today is a painting my brother did. Just sayin’. So damn talented.
At any given moment I am shades of overwhelmed, fine, depressed, grateful and everything in between. I miss the grocery store. I mean, that’s low. What used to be a chore has become a dreamed-of escape. That’s where we are.
I spend my days cooking, cleaning, doing laundry, procuring food items, entertaining my children (I have stopped calling it homeschooling because that would imply they are learning something when, frankly, I have no idea if they are. I am just happy when we get through another day mostly intact), and trying to keep up with my quarantine journal (which is remarkably challenging to find time for, an odd situation to find myself in since I never leave my home). My mom being unwell has added a layer of intensity to this isolation existence as I have worried for her well-being and tried to navigate emotionally once again how quickly life can be upended. There were days during the past three weeks when I needed to call the hospital to check on my mom but also really, really needed to grab that grocery delivery time one week out (the first available) to ensure my family had the provisions we need. So bizarre. The brave neighbors and friends who are still going to the grocery store jumped in and saved us as my juggling act came crashing down, even sometimes adding a bouquet of flowers to the items they dropped for us on the front porch.
Rest assured, when I am not virtually traveling the world with you, I am keeping it really real here. Our virtual travels and hope-filled stories bring me tremendous joy and give me meaning and perspective (and, boy, have I needed that lately). It’s helpful to focus my busy brain on positive things, to spend time learning about places I’ve never been and remembering places I have.
It all feels so futile sometimes. Life. This version of life in particular. My mom alone in a hospital, sick and unable to communicate. All of us at home. Futile and frustrating and fraught.
And then I remember: One day at a time. Tomorrow is a new day. Breathe.
We need to continue to have hope and to find the fun where we can. My mom, and my beloved aunt Nancy, and their mom would say – this too shall pass. And so it shall.
Today is Marathon Monday in the Boston area. It’s literally a state holiday and a true rite of passage to spring. Obviously the marathon isn’t happening. My family is participating in the #BackyardBostonMarathon instead. I am running around my house 26.2 times; my kids are doing the same around the backyard. My husband is doing an insane number of push ups and sit-ups (to get to 262) plus a 2.62 mile run.
It’s not the marathon, not by a long shot. But if we all do it together (I mean, apart together, of course – stay home! do NOT go on the marathon course), that’ll channel the spirit of the event and that’s meaningful. My mom’s care home and hospital are along the marathon route. Give her a virtual wave and hug as you “run” by. We can use all the spirit of the marathon more than ever because, folks, we are in one right now. I am personally seized up on Heartbreak Hill. So cheer me through and I’ll cheer for you, too. I’d love to see your photos!
Stay well, stay home.
You will be alright.
3 thoughts on “COVID Gets Real and Hits Home”
We pray your mom to recover. All of you are in our prayers.
Love you and miss you. You are doing good things, hang in there. I know she would be proud of you as we all are.
Love you all,
Sally & George
I read your Huff Post article and want to say, your article has really touched me and put into words the heartache of my current situation. My mum too tested positive and is almost 2 weeks into the infection. She didn’t need hospital, but from 4 weeks ago when she could still speak and laugh, she cant speak very much and is barely eating. I too am terrified I never see her again and have Skype calls with her twice a week. She doesn’t understand where I am and may even not remember who I am now. The care home staff are great but busy. She doesn’t deserve this. the hell of Alzheimer’s has been a journey more cruel than anything I can put in words, but I always thought I’d be with her through it all.
My thoughts are with you and if there is any solace in this awful situation, it’s knowing it can be shared with others like yourself and not feeling so alone.
My very best hopes for your mum
Gail, thank you so much for reading and for writing. I am sorry we are in the same boat, but, like you, I also think it’s incredibly helpful to know that we are not alone in it. Thank you for reaching out. I am sending peace and love to you and your mum from me and mine. Chin up and carry on, right?