Dear Mom

GayleMomPop1Hi, Mom.

It’s been a while. It’s been well over thirteen years, in fact, since I last touched your hand, or kissed your cheek. Over thirteen years since I last sat with you at your dining room table for afternoon coffee, or picked up the phone for our morning chats.

I wish I could call you now, Mom.

Remember when I was little, and would have those awful nightmares? I’d wake in the middle of the night, terrified. I’d bang on the wall between our bedrooms and no matter how tired you were, or how much you needed your rest, within seconds I’d hear your footsteps in the hall. You’d sit with me, rub my back, and gradually convince me that the monsters weren’t real, the zombies were imaginary, and it was all just a bad dream.

I wish you could ease this bad dream, Mom. Now, the nightmare starts when I wake, and it’s only in sleep that I get some reprieve from the zombies. This time, the monsters are real.

I’m not alone in this nightmare, though. Can you see, from Heaven, what is happening here on earth? Entire countries are on lockdown. Stores and businesses are closed and failing; restaurants can’t serve patrons on premises. Children aren’t able to go to school. Never did I dream that I would see anything like this in my lifetime, Mom–at least not anywhere but in a frightening science fiction movie.

We have an enemy, Mom, and the whole world is fighting against it. It is stealthy and pervasive, this foe. Not only that, it’s invisible. We know it is out there, probably all around us, but we can’t even see it coming.

It’s a disease called COVID-19, caused by a coronavirus they have named SARS-CoV-2. It attacks the respiratory system, causing fever, cough, and breathing difficulties. Although most people (over 80%) recover on their own, there are those who are vulnerable to serious lung disease. Many of those people are dying. These are the people who are elderly, have underlying health conditions, and who have immune system disorders (like me, Mom).

The disease began by attacking the people of China. Many thousands grew sick and many died. It then spread to other areas, first in Asia and then Europe. Italy is in complete lock-down, and France just went that way as well. Other countries are also closing their borders, and instructing people to shelter in their homes.

In the United States, we are under a national health emergency. People cannot gather in groups of more than ten people. Large numbers of businesses are either shut down or encouraging their staff to work from home if possible. Here in New York, we have the highest number of COVID-19 cases in the country. Today it was nearly 1400.

Everyone is scared, Mom.

I remember your stories of the Great Depression, and how everyone also had to sacrifice and pool resources during World War II. I recall hearing about how your father and  uncle worked together to raise pigs for the extended family and community, and how Grandpa grew and bottled horseradish for sale to help feed the family. I recall stories of community gardens, and gatherings to make sure people’s children and the elderly were cared for. Your memories of how everyone worked together for the greater good were always so inspiring to me.

Now, we are told to shelter alone. We’re given orders to avoid gatherings. We are headed for a similar financial crash because businesses can’t stay open and no one is earning money. And we can’t even get together to hug each other, because this enemy is not attacking us with planes and bombs, or limited to monetary ruin. This enemy is invading our cells and is likely to be spread through the acts of community kindness that saved your generation so long ago.

I wish I could call you, Mom. I wish I could hear your voice, and touch your hand. You always knew how to ease the fear, to make me feel better. You always knew how to fix things.

I wish you could fix this, Mom.

If you have any pull with God or the angels or the saints or whatever powers that be who might be able to help, please tell them we’re sorry. Tell them we know that we humans haven’t taken very good care of the precious gift they gave us, our beautiful Earth. We know that we have not taken very good care of each other. We know there are a lot (far too many) of bad humans down here on this sapphire and emerald jewel of a planet. But there are also a lot of really good people still here: people who are kind, who care, and who truly want to help each other, and to help save our Earth.

These people are getting sick at exponential rates of spread, and some of them are dying.

These people are scared.

We all need a big hug right now, Mom, but we’re not allowed to hug each other.

I guess we have to rely on hugs from Heaven.

I could use one right about now.

I miss you, Mom, every single day. Today, I miss you more than ever.

 

Your loving daughter,

–Gayle

 

 

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