WEST FORK KICKAPOO - Maybe it’s because of the holiday season or the decreasing daylight. Maybe it’s knowing the pandemic is spinning out of control in our community.
Maybe it’s the weight of people once again out of work, teachers and students transitioning back to online, parents trying to juggle work (if they’re lucky enough to still be working) with their children at home.
Maybe it’s the 45th President, who has been like no other, or the car that is a certifiable hunk of junk sitting dead in the driveway.
Maybe it’s knowing that people are suffering—widows are alone in their houses, families haven’t seen each other since March, neighbors are worried about how they’ll pay for heat this winter after months of being laid off, and our elderly and sick are dying without their loved ones by their side.
Maybe it’s watching others scrutinize and question the protective practices of nursing homes and other care facilities, when you know they are acting in their patients’ overall best interest. And now the care workers can’t keep up because they, too, are testing positive.
Maybe it’s the constant worry about our healthcare and other essential workers putting their lives on the line day in and out, then dragging their tired bodies to a store at midnight for eggs, only to see people carelessly shopping without masks on; or knowing you have family members who will never live through COVID if they get it because of compromised immune systems.
Maybe it’s that something as simple as wearing a piece of cloth over one’s nose and mouth—something people in other countries do routinely out of consideration for others when they're not feeling well—has been challenged and made into a political debate.
Maybe it’s knowing a gremlin is inside me and I need to go in for surgery soon. Maybe it’s because I know that people who already suffer from depression or other mental health challenges are near their breaking point; that hordes of people in our area and in the world don’t have computers or know how to file unemployment forms and decipher small business grants; or that people will go to bed tonight hungry, scared, and lonely.
Maybe I’m too sensitive.
Whatever it is, I miss Mom more than ever right now. I miss my sister too.
I feel a tangible longing to check in and see if they’re doing okay, to pick out a holiday card to send them, and to mail them surprise packages. To be able to call and say, “I’m scared, are you?”
You might think missing someone means they were perfect, that your relationship with that person was flawless, and that every day with that person was a lovely picnic.
But you’d be wrong.
Missing someone important in your life during these times of tribulation simply means you loved them.
Was she the best mom in the world? No, but she was mymom. Did I always have a close relationship with my sister? No, but she was mysister. I couldn’t survive a quarantine with either of them with my sanity intact, but I loved them both and always will.
Maybe that is enough for now. Maybe that’s enough for all of us. Maybe we just need to remember that we have loved, we’ve been loved, and we will keep on loving.
Maybe love is enough.
(Editor’s note: Thank you Jane for reminding us what’s important and what’s not.)