Coronavirus. I know you’re asking yourself how one word can strike so much fear in someone’s heart? None of us could have imagined at the beginning of the year, or even a month ago, what our lives would be like today. So many things have changed. We are all experiencing a new normal. Social distancing. Fear for our health and the health of our loved ones. Fear for our financial well-being. Cancellation of big events. Postponements. Uncertain future.
I know for many of you this may be the first time you’ve experienced this, but for those of us who have had childhood cancer infiltrate our lives, we are very familiar with how one little word, like CANCER, can wreak so much havoc on someone’s life. For Tait and myself, this is very reminiscent of the days and years following Connor’s diagnosis. We experienced the same social distancing and the same fears, cancellations and postponements of plans and events. So much uncertainty.
My point in sharing this comparison is not to focus on the similar fears and experiences we have with these two tragedies, but only to focus on a constructive outlook Tait and I used to navigate our trying days.
First of all, I remember doctors telling Tait and me from the beginning of Connor’s diagnosis, that we would be simplifying everything in our lives. No longer would we be adding anything extra to our lives that is not necessary. Sounds pretty familiar to where we find ourselves now, right? What we focused on during that time was cherished time with family. We weren’t running everywhere for sports practices and social engagements.
We spent our time enjoying each other, outside playing in the backyard and taking walks, in the family room watching movies, around the kitchen table having conversations and playing board games. Use this time to have that much- needed family time. Many of us have our college students home to finish out their semester online. This is another great opportunity to have some unexpected extra time with our children. We should appreciate this slow pace and extra time before we are back to our usual hurried pace.
Second, look for things to be grateful for. This is an excellent opportunity to teach our children to focus on our blessings. We still have a roof over our heads and food on our table. We have each other. This is a time of unity for our country, putting our differences aside until we are all safe and on the track to recovery. I’m grateful that our government is working hard to get us past this crisis as quickly as possible. I’m glad that I have fresh water and toilet paper at home (for now).
Third, hug your loved ones. Your parents. Your child. Your spouse. Tell them you love them and how much you appreciate them. Do not miss this opportunity. If we leave it unsaid, our feelings remain `unknown. Speak up. We are not promised tomorrow. If anything, cancer and the coronavirus are wake up calls that our future is never certain. Let us all make an effort to show our love and appreciation to those we love.
This too, shall pass, but until then, let’s cherish the simple things and our family time. Let’s be grateful and show our love and appreciation to others.
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