Two years ago this week I packed up my files, binders and office supplies and said goodbye to my co-workers. It was my last day at work in the non-profit, private school I have called home for decades. Working in Human Resources and the Business office I had no idea how I would work from home. How can I do my job in isolation?
As it turns out, I worked from home for the rest of the school year, throughout the summer and into the early fall when we returned on-sight, wearing our masks, taking our temperatures daily and living in fear for our future. My husband and I had our groceries delivered, washed everything we could in our kitchen sink and went outside only to exercise. We huddled around our television to listen to the New York State governors daily noon updates while we ate lunch and hoped for any signs that this nightmare would end.
I'll never forget the day we stood on my stepsons front lawn while our grand kids waved from their living room window. My husband and I wept as I could not imagine not being with them. I kept my faith and honestly, there were so many acts of kindness among family members and friends they are too numerous to list here. I missed seeing everyone from friends, siblings, co-workers but I managed one day at a time.
Once vaccinations became available my husband and I took them, hoping they would provide immunity to this disease. We continued to wear first cloth masks and then transitioning to paper. I was reminded of my grandmother sharing her experiences as a young mother during the Spanish Influenza. My father had been born in 1918. How did they survive? I saw all of my grandparents in a different light and wished I had asked her more about that period of her life.
Through all of this I found the strength and true desire to retire from my position. I knew it was time and maybe it was being isolated from my co-workers that helped me to know I could survive without them. I took a risk to leave both my job and New Jersey for the winter. I has been nothing but a blessing for me and I have never looked back. The sun, surf and blue skies have been such a balm for my soul.
During the summer of 2021 I began to enjoy having dinner [outdoors of course] with friends and family. I was filled with tears of joy and yet, the virus was not done with us. I know many folks who have had COVID-19 and some who have not survived. I ask myself what will the next two years will look? I have put many vacations on hold and I pray there is not yet another variant to contend with next winter. I still live one day at a time. I take more risks but I have become much more patient. I'll get to where I need to go and I find it's more important to spend time with folks I love, to listen to them and laugh with them whether over coffee, a glass of wine or a dinner.
Stay safe and love one another.