One day, I’ll be older and grayer, rocking in my chair and telling my grandkids about COVID-19.
Looking over at my daughter, I capture the innocence on her plump and rosey face so I can recall the memory in the future.
With wrinkled hands, I’ll hold them as I pass down my stories of experience.
I’ll tell them of the shock, the terror, the frustration, and the loss. The ways that humanity came together and fell apart.
The lockdowns and the missing toilet paper.
I’ll tell them that my children thought it was all my fault.
I’ll tell them about the nights I spent teaching their mom how to cook my recipes, then sleeping together on a mattress floor in the living room—because why not?
I’ll tell them about me sobbing at the sight of neighbors singing “My Heart Will Go On” together from their balconies in Italy.
I’ll tell them about kissing my mom through the glass of my screen door and how it broke my heart not being able to hug her when a mom hug was something I pretty much needed.
They’ll know about how many nights I prayed for everyone I knew and loved to stay healthy and make it through this mess—praying for a day when we can come back together without caution or regret.
They’ll hear of sudden virtual schooling, the changes that were made in the local classrooms, and my extreme indecision on what the best option was, heavily considering throwing my hands up in surrender and teaching them myself.
They’ll hear of isolation and risk and the people who sacrificed, fighting hard to cease COVID from existence—they’ll listen intently and watch me curiously.
They’ll be fascinated that grandma lived through their history lesson, hearing first-hand how life was turned upside down in a seemingly endless storm of illness. Amazed that there was, once, life without COVID.
One day, if we’re lucky, this will be a story we tell.
And I look forward to the blessing of opportunity.