Every morning since the end of March and I was laid off from my job, my mother has called me. Sometimes more than once a day, but at least, every morning. It is her way of greeting and beginning the day.
My mother is in her mid eighties. It is obvious that she is quickly becoming world and worry weary. Before the pandemic and all the events that followed, my mother and I would go out at least once a week window shopping. Almost every Sunday, a little after lunch, we would take off for a couple of hours and wander the stores. Over the passing of time, there have been changes of course. Stores that have closed or moved to different locations. New stores that have opened, drawing us inside. We kept seeing stores that would be interesting to visit but were not open on Sunday, and we made plans to get out and visit on a different day. We were never gone long, but we were gone enough. I remember growing up watching as my mother would take my grandmother shopping. Now its my turn.
Then suddenly, we were facing something called Covid-19. At first it seemed just another virus. Then we joked that they were blowing it out of proportion. Then unexpectedly, things began shutting down and I was no longer the essential worked I had been told I was. A lot of the world found itself on a social distancing lock down.
I’m not a youngster by any means, but I am still young enough to be a bit resilient. I can find ways and have options to pass the time. Until the leaves began falling my yard looked amazing. When the parks opened back up, I could go hike. My parents though, and those in that age group, do not have the same options.
When I spoke with my mother this morning, all she kept saying was that she was so tired. So tired of being trapped, not able to get out and go. My dad is in his nineties, she is terrified of him getting sick, so she stays home. And grows more weary of it all. She isn’t alone.
There are so many adults who are in that age group, who are struggling. Not all mind you, I do understand that there are those who are better suited to handle things such as this, but they are an acceptation. My mother has tried to be strong. She plays word puzzles and tries to keep up with current events. She gets out and walks the dog and talks with family. But dad being dad, can annoy her to no end and she feels trapped with not even the momentary relief of window shopping. She is struggling with a depression born on the back of a virus and it is dragging her down.
I am worried about those who are in assisted living facilities. Those who have been and may still be locked away from family and friends. Sitting there, wondering without understanding, why no one is coming to visit. Sitting there, day after long, slow day, wondering and feeling abandoned.
I am worried about those who still live in their own home, but are not being checked on. Family unable to visit or unwilling to visit and they sit wondering what has happened. Wondering if it was something they may have done that has caused the visits to stop. They sit inside, waiting, hoping, needing not only supplies, but someone to arrive even for a few moments. They sit, slowly growing weary and despondent.
It isn’t just the older though, we are all growing weary of this. We all are standing, looking out on a greatly changed landscape of living. The changes vast and somewhat frightening. This is not normal, new or otherwise. We have struggled, we have compromised, we have fought, to try and remain strong and flexible. It has dragged on for too long and we have grown weary.
We have not by any means given up. We have not thrown up our hands or thrown in the towel and muttered so be it. We simply need a moment to catch our breath, throw our shoulders back and turn face to the wind. World and worry, weary, yes, but also strong and determined, brave and focused, what this country and so many things within were built upon.
I–will not live in a spirit of fear, but in one of faith and trust. Not on my knees in submission to whomever gains control of the government, but in prayerful submission to the Lord I serve. I believe, no matter what happens, God is still in control and has a plan.
In the conversation with my mother, I told her if she got to feeling better, we would go out for a while. There is a new store that opened recently that she has been curious about. Maybe, just for a little while, she can put the worry and weariness aside.