Living through COVID-19 has taught me many things.
Mostly, it has taught me there is so very much I don’t know.
For instance, I certainly did not know what the term ‘social distancing’ meant.
And I did not know how it feels.
I did not know how it feels to shout to your grandchildren across the street and know very well that there is much more separating you from them than snow banks and traffic.
I did not know how it feels to say, “I love you, sweetheart, it’s so good to see you,” to my daughter as she stood on the top of her steps as I stood at the end of her sidewalk and blew kisses before I walked away.
And I did not know how it feels to have a virtual ‘house party.’
But now I do.
Being more than slightly directionally challenged, I certainly did not know how it feels to accidentally go the wrong way down an aisle clearly marked to go the other way while buying groceries.
But now I do.
And I did not know what it feels like to stare at empty aisles that used to be packed full of sugar and flour and yeast. And I had no idea of the importance some people seemed to place on toilet paper.
Yes, to be sure, I didn’t know about any of that stuff.
But, now, just like everyone else out there, I do. I most certainly do.
And now, just like everyone else, I’m learning to adapt.
And I’m learning to expect the unexpected and appreciate the joys that somehow, in spite of the horrific virus that has invaded our world, continue to creep quietly into the cracks and crevices of each and every day.
For instance, there is the ringing of the doorbell.
Well, I mean really, I know that usually is no big deal.
The doorbell rings and it doesn’t mean a lot.
Not so much now!
During this COVID-19 pandemic, my family and friends have continued to fill my own, quiet little corner of the world with so much love and blessings.
And it usually starts when my doorbell rings.
Whether it be a simple Tim Hortons coffee or a beautiful glass flower or homemade cookies or a simple handwritten note, it is enough.
It’s so cool.
It’s like they are saying, “we’ve got this, not to worry, we are in this together.” Truly, it’s like being inoculated with a healthy dose of human kindness.
The other day when my doorbell rang and I ran down the stairs to answer it, I truly received the best gift of all.
Standing across the street were these three little blue jean clad, tousled hair lads, whom I am most proud to call my grandsons. Their mom was there, too!
I was momentarily speechless. I stared at them and they stared back at me and the only sound was the cars driving by.
Finally the littlest one started the conversation.
“Hi grandma,” he said, like we were sitting in the kitchen sipping hot chocolate and munching on chocolate chip cookies. “I have a lose tooth and in six days I will be six.”
I held his dear little body close to me and kissed the top of his head.
“In my mind, readers. Only in my mind.”
“I know,” I said.
And so, on a cold day in April when winter and COVID-19 kept us in its ruthless and relentless grip, I learned another thing I didn’t know.
Chatting with those who are close to your heart, even if they are across the street, results in nothing more and nothing less than ‘instant sunshine.’
And as the weeks go by and I, like the rest of the world out there wait patiently (or not) for the virus to loosen its tenacious grip, I continue to learn that there is much to learn.
And, as always, much to be grateful for.
Treena Mielke is the editor of the Rimbey Review. She lives in Sylvan Lake with her family.