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.
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.
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.