The holidays are often a time of great joy and stress, often for the same reason: family. I say this with great love. In my own family, my parents, three of my siblings and their families all live in San Antonio. My older sister and her family live a few hours from us. When we get together for the holidays, we already know who is going to talk about what, the attitude they are going have about it and who will take counterpoint to every discussion. Forget the rules to proper dinner etiquette, subjects on politics, religion and spouses are all on the table. Since the majority of the family see each other frequently, nothing new comes up to get excited about or to share. We did that already by text or when we talked two days ago. We get stuck in the family holiday rut.
However, this past Christmas everything changed. Ten days before Christmas, we received news my dad has terminal cancer. Hearing this news was shocking. In my head, I immediately reached out to every family member and how this was going to impact each person in our family. It was almost instantaneous, the change in all of us. No longer were we pushing buttons with each other, instead we were coming together in support. We called, texted, cried, laughed and were simply there for one another. We became a family again.
The current COVID-19 outbreak has been, for many, a time of bringing families closer together. We have been forced to slow down, talk, laugh, break bread, take walks, throw the ball. I could go on. In my neighborhood, I have seen more people walking over the last few weeks than I have in the last ten years, combined. Like the news I received about my dad, there are feelings of horror, sadness and pain that comes with the health and economic devastation of COVID-19. But there is also a gift: family.
This week, many families will be celebrating the religious traditions of Passover and Easter. They share similarities of birth and rebirth; time of reflection and hope; and taking responsibility for yourself, the community, and the world. I am using this time to reset and reconnect with my husband, my three teenagers and my five-year old. My greatest joy has been seeing the teenagers take time to play with their little brother, each in their own way. Time passes so quickly, and I am cherishing every moment of this mandatory “shelter-in-place”. Notwithstanding the mountains of laundry and endless dishes, I will not get these moments back. Soon, my teenagers will be off to college, and I will miss them. My dad’s cancer will ultimately win, and I will miss him. I hope you are creating memories in these times when the world forced us to slow down and look around. My prayers are to you all, especially to those who have been impacted through health and your business.
Peace be with you,