Has It Really Been Almost a Year?

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almost a yearWell, my friends, it has almost been one year since the pandemic shut down our state, beautiful communities, sacred schools, places of worship, and restaurants. Life as we know it is still not back to normal. 

So, as the one year anniversary is creeping in on us, maybe some inner reflection is necessary. There is one question that keeps pressing on my heart. 

What have we learned this past year?

This may not hold true for everyone but just some thoughts… 

We appreciate and value our time with friends and find gathering together priceless. 

Many of us now have the word, “Zoom” in our vocabulary. 

We were able to find humor and comfort in Bernie’s winter mitten memes. 

Time with grandparents has been few and far between, but it forced us to find new ways of connecting, and guess what, we made it work!

Grocery stores filled with toilet paper and paper towels is something not to take lightly, the blessing of these products we used to take for granted. 

Family means everything. 

Who knew movie theater popcorn and Milk Duds would be so missed. 

Teachers are extraordinary people filled with an utmost amount of patience!

Nurses are amazing humans sacrificing each day to keep us safe.

Doctors are outstanding people sharing their gift of knowledge to improve the lives of others.

Our patience levels can be tested but if we remain strong and hopeful, we can carry one another though this, supporting each other along the way.

Our hearts opened up for our fellow neighbors, lending helping hands where needed.

Wash your hands, wash your hands, wash your hands became our mantra.

Masks are our new accessory.

Sourdough starter is a thing. (Who knew?)

Patience is needed at home.

Patience is needed outside of the home.

Many of us originally thought that our kiddos would be home for a day or two for a deep cleaning of the school.

But one year later, we are still here. As I  look around at my community and neighbors though, my heart is full.

I feel a sense of loyalty and connection, and a sense of calm as we have all slowed down. I feel there is more reflection on the big things and less time focused on the small stuff that doesn’t mean much.

My heart is full for the respect I see for our teachers, doctors, nurses and essential workers and the support we offer to them for putting themselves on the line daily.

I’m proud of our children. Remote learning, hybrid learning, Zoom classes have not been easy. Many children are struggling academically and emotionally but they are mustering though the challenges and creating a stronger self for the future.

I’m proud of each and every one of you, for using grace, to guide you on a path, filled with chaos and sadness, but finding the power to dig deep and recognize the blessings along the way.

So as the one year mark approaches, let’s take pause and remember the women, men and children who were lost due to COVID-19.

They were mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, daughters, sons, grandparents, cousins, friends and beautiful people who made up our communities. Let’s keep their families in our thoughts and continue to be diligent and mindful while sharing our love with one another each and every day.

Because in the end, isn’t that what really matters? LOVE.  

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Ali lives in New York with her four teenage daughters and her husband. After moving around a bit as a child, she spent her teen years in Westchester county, moved to NYC for college and returned to Westchester fifteen years ago. Prior to having the girls, she was an English teacher, and on the side always enjoyed writing with the hope to one day publish a poetry book. In her free time, Ali enjoys going on long runs, browsing independent bookstores, catching up with friends. She is in a constant state of doing laundry, cooking, policing arguments, driving to and from activities, and trying her best to be the kind of mom her girls will admire, even on her worst days. Ali is excited to share with you the joys and hardships of motherhood with an open heart. You can follow Ali on Facebook at https:www.facebook.com/hangintheremama/ and on Instagram at https://www.instagram.com/hang.in.there.mama