Day One (3/12/2020)
I mindlessly maneuver the corner as I have a thousand times before, my car window is cracked just enough to let a subtle, cool breeze in. Today, however, feels entirely different. Brett Young’s voice is like honey in the air. I am tranquil, which is odd given the current events. It seems time is moving at half speed. Even other cars pass me seemingly slower than usual. This type of synergistic energy, I have not felt before. Something is coming together. I sense my heart orchestrating in my ribcage and the rhythmic expansion and contraction of each breath.
Every time I doubt myself
Before I even ask for help
She’s right there next to me
He continues to soothe me as I make a simple, decisive list in my head. First of all, I must call my parents. I reach for the dial and lower the radio as I pull into my driveway.
It is my Mother’s sleepy voice that enters my senses now and I am comforted by its familiarity. My breathing softens more.
“Mom, oh so sorry. Did I interrupt your four o’clock nap?”
“Oh no, Maary. I was not sleeping. Is everything Ok?”
I do my best not to cause panic, but since the start of this all, my thoughts always return to them.
“Everything is fine, but I wanted to let you know that things are developing quickly and I want to be sure you have what you need. Most importantly, Phil has a good supply of his medications and that you have anything else you may need for the coming weeks.”
I share with her what I know at this point, but that things seemed to be developing rapidly.
“Oh, Maary,” she sighs, “Thank you. This is scary. Do you think I can still go for my walks?”
Next, I reach out by text to my siblings. The word has been leaking out. School districts are taking a lead on this and I want to be sure they are aware, be prepared for what may come. Rumors predict that schools will be shut down for two weeks.
It was two hours prior as I readied myself for a course I am taking after school, that my professor shared this projection with my class. She had scurried in on her phone. It was obvious she was concerned. She had done her best to proceed with the lesson for the afternoon, but every single one of us was distracted.
“What am I going to do for two weeks?” my classmates commented. I could almost see everyone scratching their heads at this uncharted territory. We had not been granted vacation for two weeks. We recognized that much.
“I’ll write,” I immediately concluded, not fully appreciating the full scope of it all. None of us do. But, I do understand that this is bigger than all of us. Beyond the library in which we sat, beyond the school, beyond the community, beyond everything.
It is my twin brother that is most responsive to my information. I can feel his concern like telepathy and we are united in our thought processes within seconds of the exchange. I would not call it panic, but a mutual awareness that life can change at any moment. We understand that we must proceed with reverence to that undeniable fact as we had many times before. We faced numerous changes together and in that, we are united. This is no different. This alliance comforts me immensely.
A text from my husband comes through before I exit my car. He was working from home and was now in line at the grocery store. He sends me a picture of his cart and the line. ‘Thank god for him’, I affirm. Our viewpoints on this whole thing differ and just last night we had a heated discussion. I am rarely one to argue a point. Most often, I let it go because I strongly dislike confrontation, but this felt different. It was important that my perspective was heard.
I back my car up carefully and head back out to the pet store. Kaiser becoming a priority next in my mind. Check, check, check.
“Nothing is more important than empathy for another human being’s suffering, Not a career. Not wealth. Not intelligence. Certainly not status. We have to feel for one another if we’re going to survive with dignity.” Audrey Hepburn