I read a really great article this morning. It was an opinion piece written by someone quite a bit older than me but still felt like they were talking about me and so many of my grandparent aged friends. The thought shared was the fact that this pandemic has caused most of us, without small children at home, to feel suddenly elderly and expendable.
There is a magic age which, once you reach it, you are considered a senior. The rules for staying safe during a pandemic are different for us than they are for any one that hasn’t hit that magical number just yet. The weird thing is that I have never allowed a number to define me or my friends or family. And yet now, all of a sudden, that number matters.
It’s like one minute I’m a free-wheeling, free spirit with the energy to keep up with 6 grandbabies, work full time, cook and keep house while hardly breaking a sweat. But that all seemed to change in March of 2020. Within a week’s time, I was no longer able to just randomly hug my family and wrestle with my grandbabies. I couldn’t go on driving trips with my parents because they were beyond that random, magical number!
I couldn’t get together with friends, because we all had the same issues – parents to be available for and kids and grandbabies to stay away from because they may mysteriously infect us with this unknown virus. I can’t even imagine what the history books will say about all this when my great-grandbabies read about the strange year of 2020!
It’s the strangest thing in the world to suddenly understand that life is short and you may not have many more opportunities to participate in all the wonderful things you used to. My heart aches and yearns for trips to Disneyland with the family, shopping in crowded malls, weddings and receptions with lots of hugs and dancing, going out to dinner with my sisters and parents for celebrations and lots of loud laughter!
It’s been so long, I feel like I’m used to not participating in these things. Now it’s the smaller, more intimate things I miss: sitting with a friend over coffee sharing tears and hugs. Flying to spend time with my Oklahoma family and friends, visiting my bestie during layovers in Dallas. I miss the connections at church and bible study. I miss singing with the amazingly talented musicians I’ve been blessed to know.
I find myself spiraling into such quiet contemplations that I forget there is a world still out there. It’s really hard not to feel like I’m the only person on the planet.
It’s not so much that I want everything to go back to the way it was before Covid-19 came into the world. I’ve experienced enough big life changes that I understand wanting to go back to where things were is not only not possible but not necessarily healthy.
There have to be lessons learned in all of this madness. There have to be new things that happen that cause us all to wake up a bit and remember never to take for granted the small simple things God provides for us as long as we are living here on His earth.
What are those things? To be honest, I’m not really sure right now. Just like I had no idea how anything good could ever happen after I went through my divorce. I remember thinking, if things could just go back to the way they were, things would be better. I would be better and my marriage wouldn’t implode. But then I am reminded that it always takes 2 people, and maybe I wasn’t the only one who messed up.
As far as what good came from that? I’m stronger spiritually because all I had was God to lean on and rely on to make it through every new day. My boys have strong marriages because they’ve seen what happens when you don’t pay attention to a relationship that is supposed to last until death do us part.
I guess I say all this to say, I don’t know what good will come out of what we are going through right now. But I’ve had enough experience to know that SOMETHING good will come out of this time. Because that’s how life works. When I allow God to be in control and hand the reigns over to Him rather than struggle with all my might to turn the wagon the way I think it should be going, He keeps me from going completely over the edge.
How do I know this? Because the God I serve and love and have devoted every moment of my life to is bigger than me. He can see both the past and present and knows exactly how all the pieces will fit together to create a future that absolutely none of us could ever see or imagine!
I wonder, sometimes, if anyone else thinks the way I do or has the same feelings and struggles. And just when I’m convinced that I’m all alone in this, God sends me to a place in the scriptures that allows me to hear His voice as He assures me I am not alone. He nudges a friend to send a text or message through social media that encourages me and reminds me that, just like the Disney song, we’re all in this together!
That’s all I wanted to share today. I’m curious….how are you doing? Do you feel a little left out to pasture too? I encourage you to send a note to someone or pick up the phone and actually call a friend or parent or family member to chat and check up on them. You may be surprised, like I am often, that you are not alone!
Love and blessings to you, dear friends!
For You have been my hope, Sovereign Lord, my confidence since my youth. From birth I have relied on You; You brought me forth from my mother’s womb. I will ever praise You. I have become a sign to many, You are my strong refuge. My mouth is filled with Your praise, declaring Your splendor all day long. Do not cast me away when I am old; do not forsake me when my strength is gone. – Psalms 71:5-9