In difficult times, the gift of family
“One door closes. Another door opens.”
So said New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo in a recent briefing. He’s doing such a great job at relaying facts and allaying our fears. Too bad he’s not running for president.
We now know our lives are going to be disrupted, probably for months. That’s the door that has closed.
But the door that has opened is time with our families. And that must be seen as a gift.
Our adult daughter came home from New York City on the train last month, her job on hold for who knows how long. She probably would have been safe, staying in her apartment in Manhattan. She’s a smart kid. But as parents we felt she’d be safer still with us in Connecticut. And so did she, though her biggest fear was possibly infecting us.
We’re all fine: symptom free, social distancing and sanitizing regularly. But if one of us gets sick we know we are here to help each other. That’s what families are for.
We usually see our daughter for holidays and birthdays, sometimes in the city, but usually out here in the ‘burbs. Now we realize we will be together as a family for longer than expected. And all of us are doing our best to keep a sense of humor and get along with each other. That’s sometimes tough for me, I’ll admit. After all, father knows best!
Funny… it used to be when someone was fired or quit their job the euphemism was that they wanted to “spend more time with their families.” Well, I guess we’ve all been “fired” in that respect.
Whether our kids are young or old, many of us are together now as families. Years from now when we look back on 2020 what will be our memories?
Can we all make the most of this time and bond, supporting each other… giving each other space but coming together for home cooked meals, TV bingeing on comedies and discussions of how we feel?
It’s okay to be scared. What’s important is to listen to our loved ones and give them permission to have and share those emotions, rational or otherwise.
As we look through old photo albums we remember the early years, raising our kids for the bright future we all hoped for them and us, nobody could have expected this.
In our basement larder where we have always stored canned food and such we would jokingly refer to “bomb food”… the stuff we’d be eating in a time of war. Well, here we are. But the stores are open and our menus are far better than we might have hoped. And there’s nothing like my daughter’s homemade bread!
We will get through this together and life will go on, changed for sure. But there is a tomorrow, a next week and next month.
There will be hardships, no doubt. Not all families can be together if elderly parents are in lock-down at nursing homes, hospitals or in quarantine. And we should always empathetic about those who’ve lost their jobs, worried about paying their bills or where their next meal will come from.
But for our family, we are trying to make the most of this time, stressed and fearful as we may feel.
We are together with our families and that truly is a gift.
Posted with permission of Hearst CT Media. Jim Cameron is founder of The Commuter Action Group, and a member of the Darien Representative Town Meeting.
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