Monday, July 6, 2020

Where Am I?

Peek a Boo!  You can't see me!
Where am I?

Well, here.

In my room.  On my bed.

Where I’ve been for almost 48 hours with the door closed unless someone is bringing me something.

Am I sick? Yeah.  With Covid?  Probably not.  Almost definitely not.  But I do have a sore-ish, kinda scratchy throat and a (very mild) cough.

And a child with a tattered heart and lungs.

So while everyone agrees it’s probably a mild summer cold, I’m here until proven otherwise.  (hopefully tomorrow morning).  And I’m facing some ugly truths here.

I don’t think I’m going to be back in the classroom this year.  If every time I end up in contact with someone sick I get quarantined, that’s just not going to work.  Have any of you been in a public school in the last few years?  There’s a reason they refer to it as a petri dish.  Kids are fomites, germ factories, they travel and they happily share!  And someone has to be able to confidently care for Aaron around here.

Right now, Andrew and Michael are doing most of his care because they’re home and not going anywhere.  But if school is open (yeah, big if), they need to be there.  So they’re out.

We postponed Aaron’s birthday celebration last month because Joseph had been exposed at work, and because it was a known exposure, a negative test helped but didn’t completely release him from quarantine.  And trust me, you’ve NEVER seen someone so happy to go back to a job that’s not his favorite thing in the world.  I think he literally skipped out the door that Monday.  Because I’ve been careful and we can’t come up with where I might have been exposed, a negative test will release me.

Joseph’s quarantine set-up.
His room and bathroom were beyond the plastic.
It’s a weird time around here.  We don’t do much. At all.  A very kind neighbor lets us come swim in her pool when no one else is there, so there’s that.  And that’s about it.  We set up the trampoline for the first time in years and Simba is always good for some laughs.  But mostly, we kinda drift.

I worry.  A lot.  I worry about my family, about my kids' jobs.  I worry about whether Jonny and Avanlee will be able to go to Saudi Arabia, and when it will happen.  I worry about my parents down in Arizona, where they're enacting crisis triage now because the hospitals are full.  And I worry about what happens here in a few more weeks because so many people think it's just not that big of a deal.  It is!  And when push comes to shove, when there isn't the staff or the room for two more patients, Aaron won't be the one chosen.

I’ve had lofty goals for getting my class worked on.  I mean, there’s nothing else going on, but I find it so hard to focus.  Aaron is back in school, summer school.

We thought long and hard about that one.  But we’re also very confident in the school’s screening procedures and the very low numbers of people actually there.  And frankly, we didn’t save his life ten years ago for him to sit at home and do nothing.  This is about the only thing that he can get out and do.  Right now, it’s probably not that big of a deal.  We are here (even if we are kinda boring).  But come fall when the days get short and dark and his brothers are gone, he needs to have stimulation as well.  And he loves school.

So I hold my breath and pray and send him, so very grateful for amazing nurses who go with him to watch out for him.

On another note, I mentioned I’ve been in my room, holed up, for almost 48 hours.  Yeah, that includes yesterday, Sunday.  We’ve been doing church at home since mid-March, and I’ve been pretty much the driving force.  No one has been coerced, but I’ve put together the songs and conference talk, or reminded whoever has a turn to do so, told them when things needed to be done and so forth.  You know, kinda the one in the middle of all the prep work.  Not yesterday.

It was a very interesting, and moving experience to sit in my room with my door cracked open and listen as my husband and boys sang “I Am a Child of God” and then moved on to the sacrament ordinance.  Sitting all by myself on the side of my bed, there was plenty of time for introspection, and not much in the way of distraction.

Please, wear the mask!!
I’m so grateful for the blessings in my life.  I’m grateful for an eternal perspective.  I don’t know what this next year (or more) will bring.  I’m pretty sure it’s going to be a bit rough and different.  It’s certainly not what I would have wished for for my boys’ high school years, one’s first and the other one’s last.  But people have gone through rough times in the past.  Ancestors of mine have worked hard only to leave everything, including small babies’ graves, behind.  They’ve fought for this country of ours, leaving their families to do so.

Things aren’t perfect, but they never will be.  But I do live in a wonderful nation, one that gave Aaron a chance at life when there aren’t many others that would have.  What a blessing that is for me, and for so many others.

So many thoughts.  I know this is a bit of a ramble, but without structure to my life right now, I find it hard to put structure to my feelings.  We’re kinda in a haze, drifting along mostly.  And I can’t wait to get out of my room...

First three months of quarantine.

"God understands our prayers even when 
we can't find the words to say them." 
~Author Unknown