We have officially kicked 2020 to the curb and welcomed a brand new year, 2021. But is that really the sentiment I should be feeling about 2020? We did not know what the year would bring a year ago. But it did come and go. I don’t want to wish it away, because God was there, he walked with me and my family. I don’t want to ever forget what I did experience during the good, the bad, and the very ugly.
I am in no way minimizing the tragedy so many experienced in facing COVID 19. There was unspeakable sorrow, lives lost, suffering alone, and all the front line workers who have seen the worst of what can happen day in and day. A sister-in-law works tirelessly in health care, giving me a reality check when I needed it. COVID 19 is and continues to be very deadly. My family and our Church did not go untouched by this virus. Friends have not fully recovered and may have lasting damage to their bodies. Yet, in all of this, I want to remember a few things.
- The importance of the church. Not just the building, or going to a worship service every week. The people who make up the church, people we laugh with, cry with, pray with, talk with after the service. So many things I will no longer take for granted. So many I haven’t seen in nine months are missed so much, but we will worship together again.
- A hard but good place to serve this past year was my position on the LaFayette School Board. The administrators and my fellow board members are some of the most giving, caring, hard-working, and conscientious people I have the privilege of working with. The decisions we made or were forced to make because of government guidelines….were just hard. We all wanted the very best for the children of LaFayette, NY and so we plowed on doing the best we could. Hard but good!!
- I thought I was being intentional in my personal relationships with family and friends, but when the ability to be with someone “in person” without a mask was removed, I found I needed to hit the “intentional’ button even harder. So thank God for technology. Whether Facetime, talking or texting, using the app Marco Polo, or ZOOM calls and Bible studies. These platforms are not ideal or compare to the in-person interaction, but these saved my sanity.
- I didn’t think I was very busy but when the activities were removed because of the shutdown/quarantine orders, I found I was too busy. These months have forced me to evaluate what is really important and decide what do I really want to be doing with each day. “One day at a time”…really ONE DAY AT A TIME has helped me not despair about what may come.
- I did throw caution to the wind and traveled late in the summer. I flew, with a mask on, meandering through several airports finally arriving in Iowa where I attended the wedding reception of my niece. Little did I know traveling would be the least of my worries as a Derecho(you can google to see what it is) would wreak havoc on central Iowa and both my sister’s property would do damage as I’ve never seen. It was one of the hardest two weeks of 2020 as we worked to remove massive trees in the sweltering heat of an August summer with no electricity for over a week. BUT…. it was the best two weeks because I was able to spend time with my sisters and families day in and day out working side by side, eating together every night, and counting our blessings because no one was hurt. We also experienced the extravagant generosity of friends who came to help from another state bringing two much-needed generators. After the joy of a wedding reception, the electricity was back on by then, I headed back to New York where I quarantined for two weeks. The first week was ok, by the end of the second week I was very ready to spring free. I then traveled to Wyoming for a week to be with Forrest and Finley, I would do anything to be with those two!
Kicking 2020 to the curb is not how I will remember the year. I will remember the importance of people, family, friends, co-workers, colleagues, It’s people who matter. I will remember to slow down for people, Making that phone call, writing that letter, connecting through Marco Polo, whatever the context, I will never again be too busy for PEOPLE!