The carona virus has taken away our freedom to get out and do all the things that we have taken for granted. You have no idea how I miss our community gym and the days I came home dripping with sweat as I finished four miles on the treadmill. I sometimes hated the thought of going but now so wish I could.
I must forget myself for just a moment and instead think of all the businesses that must close. All the people that are out of work right now. Graduation ceremonies are not going to happen. Celebrations are postponed; some are even cancelled. We cannot even attend mass and this is the holiest time of the year for Christians. In the blink of an eye life as we knew it stopped. In the blink of an eye in the quiet of my room I actually feel scared. Not of the virus but how suddenly life can change.
The news reminds me that I am 60 and this begins the start of the high risk senior warnings. Hearing the high risk status starts at my age made me mad to hear at first but honestly it is not anger but denial. I may be young at heart but I am 60! Suddenly life seems to be going faster and faster and the years are starting to feel shorter.
I am trying not to cry but my Mom's face came to my mind as I suddenly understand how she must have felt when she moved in with us. She had a strong mind but could no longer fly where she wanted on her own. After years of soaring through the sky her wings suddenly weakened and in the blink of an eye she became a caged bird.
This social isolation we are all in right now can encourage poor lifestyle choices if I let it. When Mom was a caged bird I insisted she get dressed every morning. I made sure she walked around the apartment and on nice days I took her outside. I made sure she ate well balanced meals. And most importantly I made sure she saw her friends and if she couldn't I handed her the phone to call them. We watched game shows together to keep our minds sharp and worked on our crochet patterns together. We sang to Lawrence Welk every Saturday night with bowls of ice cream. I did not let her feel sad although I know she was. I made her laugh which was what I love to do. I encouraged her to embrace the season and reminded her that she still had me. I have found myself crying a lot this week and I honestly do not know why. I now know I must stop for being sad is never the answer although sometimes it is OK to admit how hard it is.
There are lessons in everything my friends that we right now may never understand. We are all in this together and I know one day we will be back to normal so please try hard to use the ideas of how I helped my mom when she became a caged bird get you through this difficult time. The worse thing would be to survive the virus but find ourselves sick from the worry and isolation the stress caused us.
I know my personality and despite being a high risk and sad today I will be smiling again tomorrow. That being said I always want to remember the sadness I feel today. I do not want to ever take for granted again the things I miss today when they return. Once I am able to fly out of the cage i will feel like I was given a second chance to live but I know I will be even more grateful.
In my quiet room I close my eyes and in my mind see myself standing looking out of the cage door my mom once sat in. She always said "you cant make plans" and I now understand it. We could never in a million years have planned this one Mom.
Today the world gets a temporary glimpse of how it feels to one day become a caged bird.