We all wear a life sweater. During good times, our life sweater provides all ages, all races, and all religions warmth and insulation. But during this pandemic, we have noticed a tug on its fibers.
For the most fortunate adults, the pull is an inconvenience and an annoyance. Big things are disappearing. Scrapped exotic vacation plans. Reduced lavish lifestyles. Downgraded luxuries. Sadly, some of these people may even deny and complain.
For the less fortunate adults, the jerk is life altering. Loss of jobs and income. Fear of the unknown. Future uncertainty. In response, prayers flourish.
For the least fortunate adults, the wrench taxes their existence. Illness. Isolation. The light fades.
In reaction to the disruption, children notice an uncomfortable grab on their innocent life sweaters. No birthday parties, no play dates, suspended school days, no trips to the Dairy Queen for ice cream cones after dinner.
For the elderly, the tow on their soft and faded life sweater is powerful. The assorted stains on their life sweaters are badges of good times and bad times. Snags and frays are evidence of their resilience. But now, the elderly is deprived of impromptu visits, hugs and sticky kisses from grandchildren. And worse, for additional survival chances, they are sidelined in isolation on the final miles of life’s runway.
The crisis started out as small pulled thread on everyone’s life sweater. At first a few knitted rows at the bottom cuff unraveled. Perhaps unnoticed, it appeared as a temporary shortening in length. Pieces of loose yarn, that would be later knit together, whispered for attention.
As the annoying pluck continued, more rows disappeared. Suddenly, a sleeve perilously dangled. The soft limb separated and hung helplessly.
And then, the other sleeve uncoupled. The unraveling threads became unstoppable.
Previously, sturdy needles would knit skeins of wool together with ease. In our former lifestyle, life sweaters flourished and bestowed a protective covering for all.
But now, as we unweave in this time of suspended reality, we become exposed. What has been hiding under our defensive stratum? Who are we? How are we reacting to this uncoil?
I have observed a variety of reactions during this challenging time. Some were predictable. Others were not. I will have to set the disappointment of those less-desired responses aside for another day and stay focused on my own reply.
First of all, I recognize that I am a social being and that I need others. I understand that I have shortcomings. I have learned through my previous grief journey, that the sun comes up every day, all by itself. And that family is the bedrock of my existence.
So, each day when the sun rises, I intend to give a smile and find a way to lift up friends, family and strangers. I will try and only take my fair share of supplies as well as attention from others. I am going to work at being forgiving of myself when I fall short, and then reset for the next day. I plan to keep hope in my heart and continue to appreciate the little things long after this crisis passes. Most of all, I vow to give thanks whenever I can to those who are helping to keep me safe.
What are you going to do as you feel your life sweater unbraid?
Feel free to share. I would love to hear from you.
Meanwhile, I send whispers of strength, patience and hope that the remaining threads of your life sweater give you the protection you need.