Here we are one year after our whole world was turned upside down. Life got locked down. We were all scared in a way we had not experienced before. Toilet paper was sold out, for some reason. We were all washing our hands about 100 times per day. We were staying home and making bread, because that seemed like the only thing we could control. The list of sadness, anxiety, heartbreak, and overwhelm is too long to share. I know we all have our own lists of personal struggles and loss over this past year. I’ve been reflecting a lot lately. Not just on all the doom and gloom, but the beautiful moments I experienced over this past year. Moments that pre-pandemic, would not have felt significant, but in a new reality, meant and mean so so much.
When this all started we were terrified to leave our house, even for groceries and essentials. With three small children, all with viral asthma, and immune compromised mother-in-law, we weren’t willing to take any risks. We opted to order our groceries online, but the waits were long. We got creative with our meal making and stretched out what we had at home as best we could. Receiving a text from our neighbours across the street, one day, that she had an extra brick of cheese she could give us, was an excitement for cheese I’ve never had before. Haha! She kindly gifted us the cheese, which we were completely out of, and that night for dinner we had grilled cheese sandwiches and soup. It was the best tasting grilled cheese of my life!
Then there was…
- the neighbour who started a community email tree so we could all safely reach out to each other if anyone needed anything
- the same neighbour also created a safe scavenger hunt for the neighbourhood kids, including a map and painted rocks
- there was the small business we supported and they kindly hand delivered our purchases right to our front porch
- there was the nightly 7pm banging of pots and pans for our healthcare workers
- there was the happy mail friends and family took the time to send our way
- there was and is the friendship that has gotten even richer with a family we are neighbours with
- it was watching our children be creative by playing with a friend who lives 2 doors down, distanced with fences, and a yard between them
- there were the friends who would text us “check your front porch” only to find a box of Krispy Kream Donuts sitting there to great us
- there were all Maddie’s friends, and their families, who drove by to deliver birthday wishes to her on her 7th birthday
- there was the virtual talent show Maddie’s school put on, and Madelyn shone bright singing
- there was the friend and neighbour book swaps to keep our at home libraries fresh
- there was our neighbourhood that went all out at Halloween with decorations, music, and fireworks, making it one of the most magical Halloweens ever
- there was our neighbourhood kicking up their Christmas light and decor game making nightly, after dinner walks, oh-so special
Yes, this past year has been one of the most difficult years of our lives, for so many reasons. The strength of community has been the most striking take away for me. Being a part of a community that takes care of each other has been the biggest blessing this past year. I so hope that we can continue that support as we move into year 2 of the pandemic, and into, one day, when this is all behind us.