Here I sit, looking over my life’s joyful times and tragic times — lessons easily learned without effort and those learned the hard way.
You may not realize it, but each of us has or is in the process of gaining wisdom from having to deal with this COVID-19 pandemic. If nothing else, the realization should have hit you by now that our senior citizens, mothers, fathers, grandmothers and grandfathers have been for the most part dealing with their own “pandemic” of loneliness for a long time. They have been set aside, put into storage and isolated from the lives they once knew.
Think about your own probably temporary isolation and all of the anxious hours you have spent wanting your life back. Now put yourself in the shoes of your mother, father, grandmother or grandfather. They have no hope for returning to their life of family, friends, Thanksgiving football games or riding around on a Sunday afternoon visiting children, grandchildren or friends. Their anxiety, their loneliness, isn’t going away when we’ve found a cure, a vaccine, to protect us from COVID-19.
A return to our comfortable, normal way of life will eventually happen. Call your parents, grandparents and friends who live this life everyday. For them there is no hope of returning to the life they once had. When the danger has passed go see them, spend time with them. If their situation permits, go get them for Christmas, Thanksgiving, Easter, Fourth of July and June 19th [also called “Juneteenth”].
Bring them into your home, your life and include them in your activities. Show them they have worth and are loved, for you, my friend, will someday face the same situation they are in. That situation will be as permanent as that which they are facing every day. There will be no vaccine, no cure, that will give you your life back.
Be kind to each other before we inevitably return to ashes and dust. Use your time here wisely. Love, play, trust. Be generous with your time and patience for children, for the old man or woman walking slowly in front of you when you’re in a rush. If you see someone who is hungry, feed them. If you see someone with a broken heart, hug them. If you see a man, woman or child that needs shoes or a warm coat, give them yours or buy them what they need. If your neighbor needs a ride to the store, to church, give it to him with an open heart.
Don’t let the hard times mold you into a hard person. Give of yourself to those less fortunate. Love, peace and happiness are not free; you have to pay your dues and pray to God for his goodness and ask him to protect your way of life and your loved ones from despair and need. Peace be with you.
n Walt Mullins