It is light outside when I awaken. Night has slipped away and I have slept through its departure.
Day has begun.
I am grateful.
For the past several mornings I have been unable to sleep beyond 4am. The days grow tiring with little sleep the night before.
Yesterday, I napped in the afternoon.
A gift. A respite. A welcome interlude in my day.
The rhythm of my day has not changed much with the ‘stay home’ order. Something has shifted within me though. It’s as though, without the freedom to come and go, a restlessness invades. A teenage angst stirs. ‘No one tells me what to do’ the voice of years past declares inside my head.
And I want to heed it. I want to say, ‘Hell ya. You got that right.”
I ignore it.
It gets louder. “This is ridiculous. It won’t hurt just to go to the grocery store, or wander around the mall.
I keep ignoring it.
It doesn’t like that. It raises its voice. “You are such a goodie-two-shoes. You know, that’s what they called you in high school. Ya. Goodie-two-shoes. Little Miss I’m so perfect I don’t even know there’s another side of right called wrong.”
I catch myself thinking about stopping at the grocery store on the way home from the park with Beaumont.
I quit taking my wallet with me.
We have been sequestered in solitude for 21 days now. Ever since my mother’s celebration of life and our family members returned home. We dropped them off at the airport, drove home in separate vehicles and when my beloved and I walked back into the house we knew what we had to do. He has a medical condition that puts him at the top of the ‘at risk’ chart of potential suspects. We knew we had to stay home. We could not risk his health and well-being to this virus slithering through the shadows waiting to infiltrate through any crack in our defenses. It does not respect the sanctity of human life. We must take care.
And the teenaged angst rises up, “But you’re not sick. You’re just old and chicken.”
I ignore the sting of its words and its reminder of the fact I fit into the ‘seniors category’.
I’m still struggling with that one. It’s been one and a half years since I slipped over that societal border of middle age to senior. I like being a woman of this distinctive age, I just don’t like the label. Senior.
The teenager quickly grasps at this new opportunity to stick it to me, “If you weren’t so old you’d be out there doing things instead of sitting in here doing nothing.”
I want to refute its insistence I am doing nothing. I want to fight back. Ward off its declaration of my uselessness with words of my own. I want to set it straight.
And then I remember the advice I’d been given when my daughters were teens, “Do not fight back. Step closer.”
I take a gentle breath and step into the hard edges of my teenaged angst. “I hear you. I hear your fear. Your worry that the world will end and you will never get a chance to live. I hear you.”
The voice quietens. It stops to take in a breath and in that gap between words and breath, I wrap my arms around my own self and say, “It’s okay. You’re okay. You’re doing the right thing.”
And my teenage angst and I embrace one another and together, we cry.
It’s okay, I whisper to the one inside who wants to rise up and rail against all that is going on, all that it cannot change, all that it cannot do. It’s okay.
And we cry. Together.
Tears are my prayer for well-being in all the world today. It is good to cry for the world. There is so little I can do to make it different. My tears are my offering that wash away my fear. In the cleansing wake of their falling, Love flows freely.
That tightness in your chest. That restlessness. That angst and listlessness. It’s okay. It’s just fear crying out for release.
Where there is fear, love is also present. All you need to feel its gentle breath and healing touch is to let your tears wash away your fear so Love can flow freely.
It was one month ago today that my mother took her last breath.
On our family zoom call on Sunday, my sisters and daughters and I were talking about how grateful we are that we had that time with her. That her last days were not spent under the social distancing necessary to fight the spread of Covid-19.
We are so grateful.
This morning, my tears and prayers are for all those families who cannot be with their loved ones who lay in isolation, who cannot say good-bye, surrounded by their families and friends.
This morning, I light a candle and send you my prayers for peace and gentleness of heart so that you may stand, strong of back, as you weather your burdens of loss sequestered in solitude.
May peace be with you.