The COVID Chronicles: Delayed Reunions and Rays of Light

He’s back, Baby!

Yesterday morning I realized that I had been a day off in calculating Dan’s bedroom quarantine- it was time to set him free! We’d decided when he came home from the hospital to go above and beyond the hospital’s recommendations and set a six day quarantine, wanting to make sure that the animals and I would hopefully remain safe. I was so overwhelmed with worry and stress and masks and cleaning that I somehow lost track of time.

Reunited!

This means that after eight days of hospital stays and his quarantine at home, it had been two weeks since I’d gotten to touch my husband, to hold him, to see his sweet face without a mask. That first long hug was quite emotional, and we both burst into tears. Two weeks of absolute hell had come to- if not a conclusion with all that is happening in our world- at least to a happy place of reunion.

Thin but determined…

Dan lost seventeen pounds that he didn’t need to lose during his hospital stay. When I hug him I feel sadness at how frail he seems. No matter; he is determined to regain his strength and get back to the things he loves, his home projects, riding his trike, teaching his beloved yoga. We talk and dream about what we will do to celebrate when life ever returns to some sort of normalcy; a trip to the beach to walk by the ocean at sunset hand in hand. Making new memories that don’t include COVID-19.

Seagrove Beach, Florida…

Those dreams seem so far away right now. The world has changed in ways that we are still not able to fully comprehend and I can’t help but feel fear incessantly tugging at my sleeve. All of the what if’s and the shell-shocked what is have left me reeling, my depression encroaching.

We made a quick trip to the grocery store today, masked and gloved. After seeing so many empty shelves and people with panic in their eyes, I made it to the car just in time to burst into tears with a panic attack. Something about the empty shelves triggered a deep-seated fear in me. Intellectually I realize there is plenty of everything, that this is temporary, but my gut wasn’t having any of it. So much has changed, so much may never be the same again. Maybe, just maybe, we can come back a better, more compassionate people in the end. I pray that will be the outcome.

For now I have to focus on the microcosm of my world with Dan. I feel deep gratitude that we’ve been given a second chance at our life together after his health scare. I look for beauty in our gardens and on my long walks with Marley. I do my best to teach my students and support those who are struggling as I am, my heart breaking that they are going through all of this at an age in which they should be carefree. I go to the top deck to look out over Birmingham, wondering what will be, thankful for Dan and our loving home, doing my best to be hopeful, to see a future where people can once again walk out into the sunshine together, unafraid. Rays of light in the darkness.


16 thoughts on “The COVID Chronicles: Delayed Reunions and Rays of Light

  1. So wonderful to see Dan’s smiling face…. hopefully you both stay well and we all come out of this dark time soon. Enjoy every minute together because life will get busy soon enough. P.S.- tell Dan I found his 17 pounds. Ugh. Lol

    1. Thank you, Lynn. You are so right that we need to treasure this quiet time of togetherness. I think a lot of people have found Dan’s 17 pounds…stress eating is another gift of COVID-19. 😜❤️

  2. Life is certainly full of sunshine when we emerge from the darkness. What seems strange will turn to a “new normal.” While we morn the loss of what was, we don’t want to lose sight od the possibility and probability that this experience will bring a new beauty that we would not have experienced otherwise. Welcome the new and remember fondly what was. It’s all part of the wonderful journey. —Julia ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️

    1. I love that perspective, Julia- beautiful. I will hold onto that with everything I have. I do believe we can find something good even in the darkest of times, and I’m hoping for something truly wonderful to emerge from all of this. ❤️

  3. What a delight to see you two together! I’m sure that losing 17 lbs that way was not ideal but with Dan’s yoga and physical exercise he’ll be back in fighting trim soon! We are all trying to adjust but I often bring up a phrase that was uttered to me during a “dark” period – the darkness defines the light. If we find we are in the dark and can see light then we know we are heading in the right direction. Hugs to both of you. I’m sure that your true smile has returned and that that will help your students more than you know!

  4. This news, along with the pictures of Dan, and you and Dan, are such a blessing!
    Dan’s smile says so much!
    Prayers answered, with a grateful heart……..🙏
    Wishing you both, continued good health, and strength.
    I am so happy for you both! 💑
    Your journey fills me with hope, this morning. THANK YOU, Denise.

  5. This made me cry tears of joy that Dan is back with you! I hope you can take every moment together to strengthen and fortify your battered souls. You made it through this, and now, together, you can let go of the what if’s and sadness and find joy just sitting together overlooking Birmingham from your lovely spot in the sun. Dan will get stronger everyday with you and the critters by his side, as you will with him by yours. Love and peace and health to you both, Denise. xoxo

  6. I read a great article at CNN the other day about how natural it is for us to grieve now: we’re in the middle of a pandemic, and as we process and move through this, we will be feeling so many things, panic, anxiety, and grief included. We’re in it together. Resilience can come by gently turning towards what we feel… Not diving in and losing ourselves, but very gently turning towards, exactly as you’ve done in this post, and acknowledging our feelings in our bodies and emotions. I’m autistic, myself, and one of my ways of processing seems to be to have mini-meltdowns when I’m overcome by responsibilities, shifting routines, and feeling the global weight of grief. But these little storms help me regulate so I can feel OK after and carry on with what I have to do, or even have a bit of fun.

    Dan looks great. You both did such a good job. We are in probably the hardest time we’ve had in our lifetimes. And we’re resilient, even when we crack.

    1. You are so wise, Cathy. I am trying my best to flow with things and not let myself get mired in all of the scary stuff. Not always easy, but I will keep on trying. We truly are all in this together, and that helps to bolster hope. ❤️

  7. This is such good news Denise! Give my regards to Dan please. Thanks for giving me a little ray of hope today!
    Love, Robert

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