Family: Let’s be grateful in these times of COVID-19

The season of spring with its perennial promise of hope is upon us.

Even as I write this column, I have the absolute delight of looking out at a sky that hints of the softest shade of blue, chasing away the shadows of the night, of the coronavirus and of winter.

Okay, I know that is overly optimistic, but it works for me. I know the clouds are still there. The clouds of worry and of fear, along with the feelings of discouragement that we should be forced to live through a winter that refuses to end, while every single day we hear of more deaths and more cases of the dreaded virus.

I’m just like everyone else. I pray for protection of those I love and, even those I don’t love, hoping they will do the same for me.

And I force my tunnel vision to expand just a little further so I can figure out what I can do without or at least substitute in my kitchen so I don’t have to make two million trips to the store because I forgot this or the recipe calls for that.

And I’m getting it. I’m flattening my own little curve, so to speak!

In the process, I’m getting to know my house a little better.

And I’ve come to discover every cobweb, every dirty corner and every cluttered drawer. They appear to be everywhere.

“Oh dear, house, how neglected you’ve been while I’ve been out and about for the last 20 years,” I found myself muttering to no one in particular the other day.

And so, to make up for lost time, I’ve resorted to a frenzy of cleaning.

“Don’t move,” I said to my husband in my stern, I mean business voice, “in case you mess something up.”

Is it any wonder he resorted to sitting out in the yard where the sunshine tried, with its somewhat weak rays that are just barely out of hiding, to give him a good healthy dose of Vitamin D?

But, like the coronavirus, winter is slowly, if reluctantly, releasing its tenacious grip on us.

And, despite everything, there is still so very much to be grateful for.

My grandson, who has been six for about six days seems to instinctively know this.

The child has never written a grateful list, never taken any courses in ‘how to attract good things into your life’ or learned ‘how to be nice to your brothers’ at least not without a great deal of prompting.

But he’s quite matter of fact about certain facts of life.

“Hey, grandma,” he said the other day as we were visiting via Facetime. “Do you think I’m in Kindergarten or Grade 1.

“Kindergarten,” I said, promptly.

“Nope,” he said, matter-of-factly. “I’m in Grade 1. No more kindergarten for me. As soon as this virus is over, I will go right into Grade 1.”

There was no bemoaning the fact that virus had taken away several weeks of Kindergarten for him. There was only acceptance of the fact that he was, in fact, moving on.

I love that little guy. I love that he is so resilient and even as the world locks down to face this horrific crisis, he is what he is. Delightful. Charming and living in the moment.

“It is what it is, grandma,” he said, suddenly a six-year-old philosopher.

The clouds seem lighter now, slowly dissolving into nothing.

I see a Canadian flag waving in the distance.

And I also see a green and white Saskatchewan flag fluttering in the breeze.

Hmmm, I think. Saskatchewan? That is cool!

Saskatchewan, Alberta and beyond. It’s all good!

We’re all in this together.

Stay safe, everyone.

Treena Mielke is the editor of the Rimbey Review. She lives in Sylvan Lake with her family.

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