Almost two years of life during pandemic.
How can time feel like a slog and a sprint in the same moment? How can our hearts process it all when life comes at us with this kind of intensity?
The bittersweet joy of a wedding, with the oldest generation notably absent, followed four weeks later by Dad’s death.
The thrill of a new engagement, at the beginning of that oddly quiet and strange holiday season we all stayed home, miles apart.
That Christmas day itself, the early morning “we’re pregnant!” call from the newlyweds, followed that night by “it’s a girl!” from the not-so-newlyweds. The anxiety and concern. When will it be safe to visit? Will all this be over when the next baby arrives?
A moment of serendipity with my sister, finding the perfect dress for next spring’s wedding (Will we all be able to gather safely by then? I have hope. I buy the dress.) during time that was meant for visiting Mom … until the latest lockdown at her facility nixed that plan.
Then, just two weeks later, another baby born and given Mom’s middle name; we couldn’t know Mom would pass just six weeks later.
Through it all, a growing realization that some of my closest family is my chosen tribe, the ones who are just enough removed from the immediacy of it all to open their arms wide and let me rest there a bit.
There has been love. Big, heaving gobs of love that rose from frustration, celebration, disappointment, anticipation, grief, joy, loneliness, and uncertainty. My heart now understands it can hold two or more emotions in any given moment, where happy sits hand-in-hand with sad, and grief is comforted by grace.
The past 18 months have been an epic love story for this family, with enough requisite plot twists and revelations to make it a juicy read. We are stronger together than we’ve ever been. I am grateful.
Some might call it a drama; at times it feels more like a rom-com. Really though, it’s a mystery. It’s life, in 2021. It’s love, pandemic-style. And there is no telling where this beautiful, crazy love story goes from here.
To the beautiful, amazing, soulful people in my family — by blood, by marriage, and by choice — you are my heroes.
Carol Pearson is the founder of the 10 Little Rules book series, and the author of 10 Little Rules for a Blissy Life, available at www.10littlerules.com, on Amazon, on Etsy, and at select retail stores. Follow 10 Little Rules on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter and LinkedIn.