Yesterday I did our weekly shopping at Walmart, and though crowded, few people spoke. Everyone appeared preoccupied and vaguely distressed. I was a bit distressed too when I saw the bread and flour shelves empty. Again. But as I passed down the candy aisle (I was looking for chocolate for my dad—Really) a woman dropped a bag of sweets right in front of a Walmart worker. Without missing a beat, the store clerk groaned and pretended that it landed on her foot—then grinned real big. A collective sigh and the first smiles I’ve seen in weeks passed through aisle twelve. One was mine.
This afternoon I took a stroll with a neighbor lady, keeping the requisite safe distance, but still able to chat amiably, and the sun broke through the clouds. A kiss from heaven could not have felt better. Perhaps it was.
I have connected with people I haven’t talked to in months. I’ve checked with family and friends regularly. My kids have spent more time together than they have in years. Even birthdays have been celebrated in homegrown style.
But as I write this, greater numbers of people are of dying from the coronavirus than ever before. Families are losing loved ones. Only a fool would not be afraid. My dad just turned 91 and lives two states away. I wonder if I will ever see him again. I wonder about my sisters and brothers who have health issues. I wonder what kind of a world my kids are inheriting. I wonder about a lot of things.
As I mentioned my concerns to my elderly neighbor, she reminded me of what I already knew—Just take care of today. Live now. Love now.
I tell myself that. And I try. But it was good to hear it from a woman I respect. A woman who has lived through trials and knows that none of us know what is around the bend—good or bad.
The candy and chocolate cookies sit on my dresser waiting for me to box up and send off to my dad. I’ll call to let him know they are coming. Something fun he’ll forget in ten minutes. But we’ll have a fun ten minutes. And the treats will taste good when he gets them.
My neighbor is sewing masks for the hospitals—she and a group of ten ladies from town are working on this project together, each in their own homes. Their generation hearkens back to another era where making-do was second nature.
For now, I sit looking out the window at the evening sky; maple tree branches sway in the wind, showing off their perfect little buds like proud mamas—See what I’m giving birth to.
There is a lot to grieve these days. And there will be more grief to come. But it is on the darkest nights that the stars shine the brightest.
If an exhausted Walmart clerk can send the candy aisle into relieved giggles, then there is hope for us all.
Novels by A. K. Frailey
Last of Her Kind http://amzn.to/2y1HJvg
Newearth: Justine Awakens http://amzn.to/2pq0vWN
Melchior—Vengeance Is Mine http://amzn.to/2taeW2r
Historical Fiction & Science Fiction Blend
OldEarth ARAM Encounter https://amzn.to/2KLhlsN
OldEarth Ishtar Encounter https://amzn.to/2OAkDQF
OldEarth Neb Encounter (In production)
OldEarth Georgios Encounter (In production)
The Adventures of Tally-Ho http://amzn.to/2sLfcI5
HeartBeats—Spiritual Being, Human Journey https://amzn.to/2KvF3Ll
The Road Goes Ever On—A Christian Journey Through The Lord of the Rings http://amzn.to/2lWBd0z
It Might Have Been—And Other Short Stories https://amzn.to/2XXdDDz