I consider myself a strong person who, who more often than not, views the cup as half full and rarely as half empty. I wake up every morning cheerful, ready to take on the day and eager to be the (oftentimes) pillar of strength my kids need to help them face life’s challenges.
We’ve had our share of ups and downs as a family
My family and I have had our share of ups and downs. Life hasn’t always been easy. But despite those challenges, we’ve somehow optimistically sailed through together always coming out a little more connected, stronger and wiser in the end.
But what’s happening around the world is making it hard for me to feel optimistic…
When I drove out of my neighborhood and saw kids playing alone on their driveways, I felt for them.
When I waved to my neighbors, they weren’t smiling or very friendly.
On my way to the grocery store, I couldn’t help but notice how empty the streets were, how barren parking lots were and how focused everyone seemed to be.
Grocery store shelves were empty, people were barely making eye contact. The music in the store wasn’t playing and everyone looked weary.
As I grabbed exactly what I needed from the store, being careful to maintain enough social distance, and headed back to my car, I sat there for a moment trying to take it all in.
I thought I was handling it all okay. I was trying to hold onto positivity with a vice grip, but at that moment, the gravity of the situation hit me and tears started streaming down my face.
Me…the strong one.
The one my friends look to for wisdom, advice, positivity, and humor. The one my kids look to for fresh perspective when they need it, sound advice when they’re struggling and a calming voice when life gets hard.
At that moment I found myself fresh out of positivity. I couldn’t find even a hint of humor and I didn’t have any advice or calming “it will all be okay” words to share.
Everything happening around me had gotten the best of me.
I was crying for my family, my friends, senior citizens whom I’ve never met, strangers I’ll never look in the eye, families who are losing loved ones, medical professionals who are unselfishly trying so hard to be of service, businesses frantically trying to provide basic necessities and for the millions of people who feel the uncertainty in their heart the way I do.
I found myself crying for my son who is a senior in high school who will likely never walk the halls of his high school again, won’t be able to attend his senior prom and may not walk the aisle on graduation day.
For families who are struggling to find a new normal, teachers who are scrambling to figure out a new way to teach, and moms and dads who are now working from home trying to juggle school, work, family and home life.
For those with compromised immune systems who fear for their life every time they step into a grocery store to buy detergent or milk.
For doctors and medical professionals who have families, and yet continue to sacrifice their lives for the sake of others.
For senior citizens who are now homebound or in hospitals and unable to accept visitors.
For kids who can’t play the sports they love, families who canceled long-awaited vacations and couples who put their weddings on hold.
For families who have lost their income, workers who have lost their jobs and people who have lost investments.
For flights that have been canceled that bring people together and for restaurants that have closed that gave us a place to catch up and laugh.
For the normal, stable, comfortable and predictable aspects of all our lives that have temporarily been placed on hold.
My husband told me it’s ok to feel weak
When I walked into the house with my single bag of groceries, my husband met me at the door. Seeing that I was crying and somehow knowing what I was feeling, he said… “It’s okay to feel weak. It’s okay to cry.”
Those were the comforting words I needed to hear.
We can grieve and cry for our loss of normalcy, the changes in our lives, the canceled events and the fear of the unknown.
We can have faith that God is in control and we can still be weak. We can have the comfort of knowing that we will get through this and still feel apprehensive. We can be strong and fierce and still stumble and fall in the face of doubt.
It’s okay to cave into our feelings, let it out, show our vulnerability and express what’s in our hearts. It’s okay to mourn the loss of familiarity in our lives, to lament over friends and loved ones we can’t see or touch and be upset over the uncertainty of the days that lie ahead.
I’ll gain my strength in the face of my kids. I always do. I’ll gather my emotions, dry my tears and look to the heavens for comfort. But for now, I’m having a moment of weakness. For now, I’m giving myself a moment to cry…and that’s okay.
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