I shed a few tears this morning. Today is the day our whole family was to join us in Arizona for a holiday we had been planning for nearly a year. This was the first time everyone’s winter work schedules aligned so we could all be together. We spent a month looking for the perfect house for us to all share. When Dave and I left for Arizona many weeks before our children were to arrive, I had packed the car with toys and games and books and activities for the grandchildren. At Christmas, we had given the kids and grandkids gift certificates for various outings we had planned for the family. We were going to celebrate our granddaughter’s first birthday together. But………..there will be no holiday.
I know my sadness about a cancelled family holiday is nothing compared to the sadness of all the people who have lost their jobs, the people who will not be able to graduate from their university programs and the athletes who have trained so hard only to have the Olympics cancelled. I know my sadness about our missed vacation is nothing compared to the sadness of the people who have a family member dangerously ill with COVID-19, the families that can’t visit their elderly relatives, or the medical personnel who must leave their families and enter workplaces filled with risks.
Despite my sadness about our lost holiday I know I should be counting my blessings. Right now Dave and I, as well as our children and grandchildren, are safe and healthy. We all have comfortable homes in which to maintain our physical distance. Each household has at least one income to rely on even during the crisis, and each household is filled with the love it needs to sustain it. Blessed indeed!
From Facebook I found out my great-niece Chloe had asked her Mom what COVID-19 means. I realized I wasn’t exactly sure either, so I looked it up. CO- is for corona VI – is for virus D- is for disease and 19 – for 2019 when the pandemic began.
On Thursday I told my grandson a story via Face Time about going to the grain elevator with my grandfather when I was a child. I loved riding in my Grandpa’s truck and when we took a load of grain to the elevator, we drove into the building and they hoisted the cab of the truck up high so the grain would slide out of the bed in the back and into the storage area of the elevator. I thought it was such a thrill to sit in the cab as it was hoisted up. My grandson didn’t know what a grain elevator looked like so I sent him a picture of one. It started me thinking about how many things that were a familiar part of my childhood are unfamiliar to my grandchildren.
Sometimes my Dad has trouble remembering what is happening to him right now, but he remembers the past oh so well. Last night I told him about explaining grain elevators to my grandson and Dad and I had a great conversation about grain elevators. He told me stories of going to the grain elevator in Plum Coulee Manitoba with his father.
I also told my grandson about how my grandmother had a pail under her sink where we threw all of the kitchen food scraps and then later I would take that pail of ‘slops’ out to the pig barn and feed my grandparents’ pigs. I was trying to explain ‘slop’ to my grandson and he said, “Oh it’s like the stuff we put in the compost.”
In an article in The Atlantic this week writer Ed Yong says that children conceived or born during the COVID-19 experience will be nicknamed Generation C. He speculates when they are growing up they won’t dream of being sports stars, or movie icons or wildly successful businessmen and women they will all aspire to become scientists and epidemiologists because they will understand those are the true heroes who save the world.
I am reading and making notes on The Five Books of Miriam by Ellen Frankel. It offers a female perspective on the first five books of the Bible. I am supposed to be delivering a sermon based on a section of the book at the end of May. Not sure if that will happen although I may be asked to give the sermon online during a virtual service. That should be interesting. One of the questions the book asks is why the Bible so seldom shares the wisdom of women and why the church has only just begun to listen to the wisdom of women.
As I pondered the ideas in the book it struck me that during this COVID 19 crisis we are very much depending on the wisdom of women here in Canada. Many of the chief public health officers in the various provinces are women as is Canada’s Chief Medical Officer Dr Theresa Tam. Women are playing important roles in leading Canada through the pandemic.