As I reflected on my day last night – I felt really deflated about the news block I chose to ingest – for about an hour. And then, with great love and support and listening offered by my husband, I broke free.
I’d like to share with you how I was able to shift beyond the fear of what’s going on, the weight of our economic upheaval and questionable political moves.
An unexpected connection with friends.
- Early on – a request for a virtual Happy Hour with friends from far away. That’s going to happen on Wednesday.
- Second – a lengthy instant message exchange with two cousins in Denmark about the unsettling life all around each of them, and how they are thriving.
- Third – an email and call with my aunt about how she’s using puzzles to help her during this time, and how her blooming amaryllis, wrapped with a bandage, no joke, makes her smile.
- Fourth – a call with a friend and former colleague, recognizing how this crisis is resulting in more calls together than we ever had in the past few months.
- Fifth– an email, then a call, with a friend I haven’t spoken with in more than 15 years – who represented me in my divorce. We figured out how she can do Zoom and had a practice run.
- Sixth – an email from a friend, who’s parenting an amazing young man with disabilities that never seem to stop him from living, checking in to see if I am OK during this time.
Friends I haven’t connected with or spoken to in years are coming up to the surface.
Then I stumble upon this quote from Henri Nouwen in Bread for the Journey.
A friend is that other person with whom we and share our solitude, our silence and our prayer. A friend is that other person with whom we can look a tree and say, “Isn’t that beautiful,” or sit at the beach and silently watch the sun disappear under the horizon. With a friend we don’t have to say or do something special. With a friend we can be still and know that God is there with both of us.
So here’s my plan for today.
- Respond to an email that I normally would ignore.
- Call a friend I know cannot leave his or her home at all.
- Check in with my neighbor about delivering groceries.
- Check in with my other neighbor about how they’re doing parenting and managing two young boys.
- Apologize to anyone with whom I’ve been short because of the stress.
- Repeat as often as necessary.
Living through this crisis is absolutely possible. You may be concerned, suffering, scared or all of the above. Think of someone with whom you can share that concern or moment of suffering or fear – and then ask them how they are doing.
Be a friend.