This virus and our current situation has a way of leaving a gal feeling all the vulnerabilities.
Today was the first time I attempted to leave my house since chemo a week ago. A quick drive to town to pick up some local take n bake pizzas and swing through the pharmacy drive through. Armed with gloves, disinfectant wipes, antibacterial gel and an epic playlist-my daughter Grace and I hit the road. Only to get five minutes into the trip before I felt it, that oh-so-reliable feeling of a stomach upside down. Dry heaving and nausea forced us into a quick trip back to the house. I knew I needed an anti nausea medication and my bathroom STAT and all would be fine. Or so I thought? And then I saw it as I glanced over at my almost 15-year-old’s sweet face – horror. Oh man. While this has been my norm since early December, it hasn’t been hers, or her siblings, I typically try to get my shit together when they’re at school. This damn virus and this current sitch has me feeling vulnerable in ALL the ways. I’d do just about anything to wipe the look of helplessness and horror from her face.
Quarantine time has been ok. My three teenagers are handling things surprisingly well. I’m so proud of their innovative spirits and resilience. I am so grateful to sink into some endless, schedule-free time with these humans whom I utterly adore. I should add how thankful I am that we have what we need while so many do not. But knowing they are seeing ALL my post chemo weaknesses has been sobering.
They’ve shown nothing but solidarity as many of their friends are finding creative ways to “get together” from six feet away. It’s been impressive to see them stand their ground and be okay with it. I’ve heard the whispers of their really sick mom, the one with the compromised immune system.
If I’m being honest – it breaks my mom heart a little. Breaks me that even during a pandemic (an insanely unifying moment when we feel our humanness together) they are aware their lives are a bit different. And then, in all this vulnerability I’m feeling so grateful that they’ve got me. They understand their movements can carry a heavy burden. They have a responsibility to their grandpa with COPD, their cousin who has had multiple heart surgeries and compromised lung tissue, or a friend with asthma or their own mom wading through cancer treatments. They understand things on a whole different life/death level. They understand on the most basic level that their decisions impact others. While this is not how I pictured teaching empathy, compassion and social responsibility, there it is.