10 years ago a close friend of mine passed away. One month ago I was bound for New York to attend a celebration of life for a woman who quite literally changed mine. It was March 13th – the beautiful occasion got postponed and I stayed in San Diego. She’s been on my mind a lot lately. I woke up this morning wondering ‘what would Sandi do?’ about this situation. No, I didn’t come up with an answer – but as always, I’m sure asking the question is a good thing.
I’ve wondered what my Dad would think of all of this, too. What wisdom would they both offer, how would they handle the continuing crisis and would they be okay in all of this are questions that have popped up. The uncertainty is palpable, the not knowing – daunting. When will we feel safe enough again to share physical space with friends, hug family members or simply enjoy time outside together again? I’m not a scientist, medical professional or pyschic – I actually have no idea what that answer will be and I imagine, prior to a hard stop of a vaccine – each one of us will have to decide that answer for ourselves – when the world opens up, will you feel it’s alright for you to step outside?
‘Stay the course. When thwarted try again: harder: smarter. Persevere relentlessly.’ – John Wooden
It’s been almost 6 weeks since I’ve left the apartment for more than a food pick up. In that time, heroes have saved lives, people have reached out to one another and the world as we know it has forever shifted. It’s hard to have a conversation with anyone without leading somehow back around to the situation at hand. Friends in Asia have lived through this the longest and those in Australia are in the beginning stages of their safe at home orders. Whether we knew it before or not – we are truly all connected and this pandemic has shown us just how much that’s true.
I’ve realized once again, how much of a bubble I’m in. The majority of those in my sphere of influence feel a similar way. Sure – there’s a measured difference between the I’m staying in my house until there’s a vaccine and the I’ll leave when the world opens up again, but there’s little disagreement with the idea of the good of the community takes precedence over the needs of one individual. Each time I hear of protests, read articles about people still in disbelief of science and medical data or hear about those calling for a return to what once was – I’m literally flabbergasted. I’m not naive, I know opinions differ – in fact, as a former high school teacher, I made sure to always share at least two of the many sides to stories and employ that students know the other side of the opinion to theirs and to never disparage those who think differently. Yet, I’m still flabbergasted.
‘Hard things take time to do. Impossible things take a little longer.’ – Percy Cerutty
Yes, I know we’re all in the same boat – yes, I know that the storm is different for each one of us – and yes, I have faith that there will be another side of this chaotic, torturous coin. It’s still hard. The days are filled with ups and downs and the nights are filled with insomnia or epic dreams. Anxiety in all sorts of forms shows up throughout the day yet, there are rays of light that continue to poke their way in. The more meditation, the more light. The more trust in medicine and science – the more light. The greater belief that most people are good and will lend a hand – the more light. The more letting go, trusting in space and time and remembering that the only thing you have moderate control over at all is your own behavior, response and actions – the more light. There will be another side – we each have to figure out how to put one foot in front of the other to take a step in that direction or, like my friend Erin said, ‘at least not go backwards’ to get there.
As some of you know, the husband had knee surgery in early 2018. His talented surgeon and team took great care of us and the full recovery process took about 10 months. One of the many memorable conversations with Dr. Paul was around the 6 week mark post surgery. He mentioned that for active, healthy patients who are healing well, he was most concerned about them during the 6-8 week mark. He told us, bones are healed between 10-12 weeks post surgery – it might not feel great, but if you put weight on that foot, it probably won’t get damaged, just hurt a bit. Up till week 4-5, you’re still typically in the there’s a bit of pain process and you’re learning to get around with those crutches or the wheel chair and you wouldn’t think of putting any weight on the leg. Then there’s that week 6-8 time period where somehow the brain begins to believe, I’m better, I’m not having any pain, I’m sure I can just test it out – it’ll be fine, for sure. Yup, that’s the problem – could you imagine going back to your talented surgeon saying I refused to listen, I put weight on the foot, it’s busted again – can you fix it and you know, not charge me since I paid you already? Are you kidding, me? This conversation keeps popping up these days, it’s as if we’re in the stage that Dr. Paul was most concerned about at the time…those maybe I can test the waters of weeks 6-8.
‘Together we can do great things.’ – Mother Teresa
This isn’t easy and it’s harder for many. This pandemic has showcased a broken system, incredible inequalities and showed us who we truly need to help keep the wheels turning and the society safe. I don’t propose to have any answers and I know we won’t all agree on approach, policy or choices. For me, I’m staying put, putting faith in science and medicine, reaching out to others, helping where I can and staying home. To all who continue to show up to save the world – thank you. To all those who are working tirelessly to keep us safe, keep us fed, keep the infrastructure moving along – thank you. We can do this, we can change the tide. I’m sure hoping that by doing those things, Sandi, my Dad and Dr. Paul would be proud. Stay safe, friends.