This last year, prior to completing my second Covid vaccine round in April, I spent the majority of it in a constant state of unknowing. I felt a heavy weight of endless monotony. We made the tough decision to attempt virtual/homeschool for my 4 year old. That in itself was a struggle. My child didn’t understand why some of her friends were in the classroom while she had to sit at home. Thankfully our preschool teachers sent packets of fun activities and learning aids. They also did a great job of including the virtual children in their discussions and circle time. Though, no matter what I did I felt like I was failing my children. Some days we would sit and watch TV all day and at the end of the day I couldn’t help but beat myself up about how little I’d accomplished and how I had basically rotted my children’s brains away. I couldn’t appreciate the fact that I had dedicated a lot of the year to just keeping us as entertained as possible while at home. When we did go out I felt anxious about potential illness and I couldn’t enjoy myself at all. Some days I spent yelling at my kids instead of connecting to my kids. I couldn’t see the light, any light. I felt like I was stuck in an endless darkness that didn’t ever seem to let up, I had a particularly rough time in the winter. In February, my grandfather fell and broke his hip. Right around the same time I hit a breaking point. My husband told me to pack and he hauled us all to Florida for a week to escape the winter chill. He still had to work, but I was able to take the girls to the beach every day. It was a light in a dark time to feel the sand between my toes and finally, truly ground myself. I’m not sure what it is about the waves, sand and salt water but it is one of the most healing places for my soul. I took time to mediate and focus on the good happening around me. I watched my children play in the sand, discover colorful shells and experience the waves take them over. I watched my oldest, wise beyond her years stare off into the horizon the same way I do when I am reconnecting with myself. I felt like I was home again. Home in my body home in my mind finally aligning themselves. When I got back home my grandfather was put in hospice care and grief began to set in. My grandfather was previously suffering dementia, we had watched him for the last few years slowly withering away. Pieces of himself leaving ever so quietly, diminishing the man that we all knew and loved. It was a heartbreaking relief when he passed. We all slowly mourned his loss over the last few years but it was still a knife to the heart to lose his presence especially after a year spent apart. Even while grieving the loss of my Pop, I held on tightly to the positivity the beach brought me in the previous week. My Pop loved the beach, in my last conversation with him he asked me which beach I was visiting. He loved the beach, I got that from him. So, I carried that positivity with me through mourning his loss.
When spring time hit I felt a wave of relief. The sun was shining again and I went for my first Covid vaccine. Finally. I felt free from the darkness that had surrounded me for so long. I seemed a bit more perky and positive. We started slowly and carefully returning to our previous lives, my oldest returned to school in person and I found some time to spend with my youngest. It was uplifting to have come so far and stayed healthy and also to return to a mostly normal world in the wake of such a devastating year. This summer we have relished in time with family and friends. We have visited our past in St. Louis and reconnected with the world around us. It feels good to be back. It feels good to be writing again. Something I always enjoyed but felt too heavy to do publicly last year. I hope this post finds you well and maybe hopefully better understand where I’ll be coming from in my posts to come. If you’re following along, welcome I’m glad to have you here.