June 2020.  What’s relevant? What have we learned?

“…we should know that perfect service lies in acting ourselves, first finding out with scientific research what we should do, and assessing our work with further studies.” Florence Nightingale

Dear Readers,

It’s official: Memorial Day joined ranks with other spring holidays that were certainly different this year!

So, June 2020. What’s relevant? What have we learned?

We’re starting to recover from months of international fear and panic in light of the pandemic that spread oh-too-quickly over the earth.

Despite multitudinous virtual meetings, these painful times of physical separation from friends and family …yes, even co-workers…magnifies just how much we are social creatures. Like the song says, “People who need people…are the luckiest people in the world.”

Given the circumstances, do you now choke up when you say “Goodbye…” to family?

Maybe it’s a sign of my getting older, but even in happier times, for me, it wasn’t always this way.

I admit to a bit of a lump in my throat when the parents dropped me off to college…followed by a YELP of glee, because I was just itching to try my wings!

[Well, sort of. I was just itching to try my wings, as long as they were footing most of my bills! ]

The first time I recall really being touched about living far away from family was after my dad died. My heart yearned to stay and comfort my mom, when I left Oregon to rejoin my family in California.

Later, when my mom needed more attention, I’d roll into the senior residential care facility pulling my weekender case, where some resident would invariably chirp, “Oh, are you new here?” Mom would cry tears of joy to see me and when I left, not knowing when or if we’d see each other again in this life, we both wept.

Before pandemic, (B.P.?) I spent a few days with a longtime pal. (Weathered friendships are comfy as old shoes, aren’t they?) We laughed like decades were yesterday. Through the years, we’ve both had our triumphs and tragedies, but nevertheless, our friendship remains strong.

Yep. Tears when we hugged and waved goodbye.

Speaking of missing family and friends, my grandson and I have been reading and reflecting on The Little House on the Prairie books, particularly considering our settlers of yore: from the Pilgrims, to the pioneers, to the scores of immigrants, yearning to breathe free.

Grandson’s eyes got big as he realized:

They didn’t have VM? texting? or email?

No tv, no cable, no telephones?

No radio, few newspapers?

Often, not even snail mail?

What must it have been like to hug goodbye to sons and daughters,

knowing you would (very likely) never see them again?

That’s what it’s like for our sickest COVID19 patients and seniors who are in quarantine.

That’s what it’s always like for our military families, with each deployment.

As the scientific research continues to unfold and we transition back into ‘normal,’ let’s assess our work with further studies, as Nightingale recommended, and practice kindness and patience, against which there are no laws.

Also, remember to pass along the lessons learned from this pandemic when you venture out, especially if you plan to be indoors:

• wear a mask over your mouth (and nose!) to protect others and yourself

• keep disinfectant wipes handy

• wash your hands frequently

• Don’t forget the TP!

In keeping, here’s a little ditty to cheer you on this day:

May your cellphone towers always be near,

May your software update sans glitches,

May your mobile devices charge with no hitches,

May no interference be caused by your tears!

Keep safe and press on!


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