Monday, January 11, 2021

The Covid bubble and a year of self reflection


It all began around March 11th when the pandemic arrived. It seemed we were all living the same nightmare and although everyone wanted to wake up, they couldn't. 

When people began to panic things got crazy. People holed up in their houses in quarantine. Hoarders began hoarding toilet paper. Homemakers began sewing face masks and we all became instant germophobes. 

We sat glued to our televisions as daily updates came in. President Trump, Dr. Anthony Fauci, and others emphasized the seriousness of the China virus and we became concerned. 

 Our vocabularies began to include words and phrases like Covid-19, coronavirus, Wuhan, shelter in place, and social distancing. 

Many were controlled by fear. Many got sick and many died. 

It seemed our world had been turned upside down. 

No one expected the virus to spread as quickly as it did and no one knew how to fight it. 

But as of today, two pharmaceutical companies, Pfizer and Moderna, have developed vaccines. The intial doses are being given to doctors, nurses, and adults over 65. But no one knows the potential side effects of the drugs and many have decided not to take it. 

May businesses closed but thankfully, Phil's company was considered an essential business and was allowed to remain open. That was a huge blessing for us! They did require daily temperature checks and for the employees to wear masks. If an employee registered a fever, they'd be sent home to quarantine for 2 weeks, but every day, we prayed for God's protection and He answered our prayers. It's been ten months now and neither of us have become sick!We also asked for God to protect our family members. To date, only my son, Dave, has been affected and thankfully, his case was mild.  Many have required hospitalization and have need to be placed on respirators.

But there were some good things that happened while we were in the Covid bubble. Our grandsons, Alex and Marc became engaged. Both of them have planned their weddings for this Fall. We're so excited for them. 

Phil, Me, and Jamie

Our grandson, Matthew, began his military career at North Georgia military Academy. We're so proud he's following in his big brother Marc's footsteps and will be serving our country. 

Marc began officer's training in Virginia. Currently, he holds the rank of Second Lieutenant. After he completes his training, he'll move to Colorado and serve there. 

My granddaughter, Heather, began her second year of homeschool. She's doing great under the tutelage of her Mama, my daughter, Laura. 

My Texas Longhorns are starting back up with their homeschool studies under their Mom's guidance. My daughter, Erin, has her hands full teaching 5 littles. Gavin, the oldest, has become very involved with Boy Scouts and has learned to be a Ham radio operator. Kaitlyn, next in line, wants to study photography and piano. Caden, enjoys playing Army with his brothers, Braeden and Garrett. 

I finally completed my book. Now I'm looking for a publisher. It was quite the labor of love as I relived my breast cancer journey. I am thankful to have it completed and I'm ready for my next project. 

God took me out of my comfort zone by having me teach art to a class of 12 students ranging in ages 4-86. The 86 year old woman had Alzheimer's. It was quite the challenge but I completed it and was proud of myself. 

I won placement in a National Cancer magazine's art calendar for one of my pieces entitled the Unseen Woman. I was also featured in our local newspaper for my winning work of art. 

It seems God has been shining down His blessings upon me! 

We celebrated all of our family members' birthdays and anniversaries. Phil and I celebrated our 27th anniversary. 

In October, a tornado came through Newnan. God's hand of protection was on us once again and we received no damage to our lives or home. We did have several large trees down in our neighborhood and the power was out for a couple of days, but it could have been so much worse. 

We didn't get to travel as much as we usually do but did enjoy a mini vacation to Mineral Bluff, Georgia the last part of November into the first part of December. While staying in a cabin there, we enjoyed a beautiful snow and celebrated my 63rd birthday. 

We spent our first Christmas at the beach. It was very different, but very much needed. The only thing that would have made it better was if the beach house pool had been heated while we were there. (The owner stopped heating after Thanksgiving.) Although most of the days were chilly, we did have several days of warm, beautiful sunshine. We enjoyed walking the beach and even took an airboat ride through the estuaries of the Apalachicola River, thanks to my youngest daughter, Jamie. 

During our time in the Covid bubble, Phil and I both read many books, watched good movies, conversed with friends via FaceTime or Skype, ate a lot of good home cooked meals, and enjoyed each other's company. We did visit a couple of family members and made some good memories with them. 

There were several things I learned about myself during my time in the bubble: 

I Am Brave. Cancer taught me how to fight through adversity.

I Am Resilient. Cancer gave me the tools to stand strong in a storm. 

My faith is most important. Without God, I could do nothing.

I love art and have enjoyed creating art to give to others.

I love to write. Writing is cathartic and healing. 

This new year will more than likely be filled with some unexpected surprises, but hopefully, they'll be good instead of bad. We have a bright future ahead and we're trusting God to take good care of us. 

I have a bone scan coming up in the next week or so. I'm praying it comes back clear. That's the thing with cancer, you never know when it will reappear.

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