It’s been said that you don’t know who your true friends are until you fall on tough times. This has been my life for the last three and a half years and I feel like the luckiest person in the world, because my family and friends have shown up for me in ways I could never have imagined.
Recently, to add to the fun of the our shared experience of sheltering-in-place, my body decided that it was time for my gallbladder to come out. It let me know in spectacular fashion by lodging a gallstone in my pancreas and causing severe pancreatitis. Needless to say I ended up in the hospital and after two surgeries stayed there for over a week. I will say it wasn’t as scary as I imagined it to be in the hospital as I was sequestered away from any Covid-19 cases. The staff were understandably stressed, but cared for me well and I’m happy to be home and healing and thankful I can say that all’s well that ends well.
Obviously I didn’t plan this and it was terrible timing. I am a single mom of a five-year-old with a dog and a cat and, hello, there’s a global pandemic! The logistics of trying to organize coverage for an event like this overwhelms me. But it all worked. When I called my friend and told her I needed to go to the doctor, she didn’t hesitate, Covid or no Covid. She and her husband showed up wearing masks and armed with recommendations of the best place to take me. My sister then showed up and picked up my son and cared for him for over two weeks along with her four children. My friend went to my house every day to care for my dog and cat, and other friends showed up after I was home with food, to sit with me, and to help me care for my son. None of them thought twice about helping me. They just did it.
I recently saw a Facebook post where one side is accusing the other side of being selfish and the other side sent the accusation right back. (Is this a version of “whatever you say bounces off on me and sticks to you?”) I know there are people out there taking advantage of others and making selfish choices (toilet paper hoarders, you know who you are). But honestly, the majority of what I see is sacrifice. I see people appreciating essential workers like waste management and service workers like they never have before. I see healthcare workers and teachers finally getting the recognition and appreciation they deserve. I see people willing to stay home for the good of those around them and people willing to go out and deliver medicines to senior care centers despite the risk to themselves.
This virus has touched everyone’s lives in one way or another, whether physically, financially, or emotionally, or all of the above. I hope we don’t forget what it means to sacrifice for others and remember that we are not just individuals. Our actions impact our neighborhoods, cities, states, countries and ultimately the world. And I hope that I never forget that I am the richest person in the world because I have family and friends that show up for me. I only hope that I will always be the kind of person that shows up for others, no matter what.