Don’t it always seem to go …

“Don’t it always seem to go
That you don’t know what you got
Till it’s gone?”
– Joni Mitchell, Big Yellow Taxi

This post was written in response to daily prompts provided by Jibber Jabber with Sue for May  9th (time), May 7th (create) and May 5th (celebrate)

There was a time, just eight weeks ago, when I could get into my car and drive to work. I could go to the movies or to a restaurant or to any of my favourite stores.  I could get together with friends for dinner, brunch or whenever our little hearts desired.  And then one day in March, that all changed.

I could (and do) feel sorry for myself (on a regular basis) for all the things that are absent in my life. And those things go beyond shopping and eating out. My mother is in a nursing home and we haven’t been allowed to visit since lock down. It’s a worry because the situation in nursing homes here in Quebec is bad. Very bad. COVID-19 is roaring through some of them like wild fire and striking down our most vulnerable. I could go on, but that’s not the point of this post. The point is quite the opposite.

“You never know what you’ve got until it’s gone” is a phrase we’ve all heard. But  COVID-19 really rammed its meaning home because it stole so many things we take for granted from us. Some days, though,  I want to stand up to COVID-19 in my own, small way. So I try to create a state of mind where I celebrate the many things I do have. Because now in the back of my mind always lurks the question:  Will they still be there in 8 weeks? 10? A year?

It won’t be easy, and I won’t succeed every day, but here in no particular order are some things I am grateful for:

  • My entire family is healthy and, to date, there are no cases of the coronavirus in my mother’s nursing home.
  • I am not alone; my husband and I are going through this together. And while this forced quarantine has huge potential for creating conflict for many couples and families, it’s done the opposite. It’s brought us closer.
  • I still have a home and my fridge is still fully stocked.
  • I am working from home and so grateful to have a job to keep my mind busy.
  • All my friends are healthy and we connect via Zoom, Facebook in entirely different and creative ways

Are you in a place where you can feel grateful? Or are you in the angry, frustrated stage? Both are fine and normal, or so I’m told.

8 thoughts on “Don’t it always seem to go …

  1. I do feel grateful, too, and kind of like I’m cheating. Being retired just makes this strange situation much less stressful, at least for us. Some of our activities have been curtailed, yes, but we already had an established stay-at-home-a-lot routine. So many people have so many tough, tough challenges right now. Also, we’re across the closed border from you in the poor little mostly forgotten province of NB, where we’re actually able to start opening things up a bit, slowly and carefully. As long as our borders stay closed! My heart bleeds for the greater Montreal area. Stay safe, Linda.

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  2. Like you, I feel I’m one of the lucky ones in this crisis. I grieve for those who are missing what can never come back: being with a dying loved one, Graduations. Prom. And the simple pleasures of friendship you so aptly described. No one is untouched.

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  3. I like the list of the things that you are grateful for! I sure hope your mom continues to do well. Good song choice for this situation that we are all in!

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  4. I am grateful but also overwhelmingly sad. I would be angrier at the leadership of my country, but that anger got used up in the first months of his presidency. It was doing no good and doing me harm.

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  5. I am thankful at my mother’s fabulous timing, hitting the end of her life in a dementia care facility not 3 months before these lockdowns started. I feel so awful for families having to navigate these times times with loved ones in nursing homes – I’m sure it’s hard.

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