My friend’s mother died last week. She said goodbye to her on Facetime. My friend and her seven-year-old son held the phone with shaky hands- and they sang and cried and said goodbye. Her husband sat close and cried. Their son did not understand what was happening. Neither did my friend. Neither did her husband.
My mom is still here. But I miss her.
When this is over, we will be different –my mom and I.
We used to believe there was solid ground.
When my mom and I finally run toward each other, we will check each step. We will expect tremors.
When this is over, our children will be different.
They have seen the worst of us.
They know now that we don’t know.
That we don’t know how to save them.
That sometimes we do know--but we don’t do it.
When this is over -- we will all be different.
Let Us Vow to Stay Different.
In the after:
Let us keep our to-do lists shorter.
Let us keep our grudges shorter.
Our patience, our visits, our naps, our laughter, our embraces--Let’s make them longer.
In the after, let us refuse to be tricked again into believing that
We are what we get done.
We are who we align with, who we hate, what we reject, what we have and consume and produce and save and spend and claim.
We Are Who And What We Love.
That is all we’ve ever been and that is all we’ll ever be.
We are our mothers and our fathers and our friends and our sisters and our brothers and our grandparents and our grandchildren and our children and our books and our pets and our neighbors and our couches and our sunsets and that long walk down that one path where the light slices through the trees just right and reminds us of magic.
When this is over, we will be different.
Let us vow to Stay different.
Let us remember Who We Are.
And to those of you who say:
“We won’t remember. We will go back to ‘normal.’ People always do.”
To those I say: You don’t know us.
We’ve missed our people.
We’ve missed everything.
We are different.
*sometimes, in the evenings especially - the energy it takes to be angry is gone. Then, there is just sadness. I understand. Me too.
How has your experience of the pandemic changed you? Have any of your priorities shifted? In what ways do you hope to "stay different" as life eventually moves back to normal?
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Maysie Tift is a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and a Certified Master Hypnotist with offices in San Rafael, CA and San Francisco, CA.