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I venture to say that Easter 2020 won’t be one we will ever forget. I doubt we will ever have the conversation that goes “What year was is again when we couldn’t have an Easter program at church because of mass contagion?” It’s unlikely I’ll ever be on the couch with my future grandchildren, looking at family photos of us in our traditional front porch Easter picture wearing face masks, latex gloves, grey hairs showing, several pounds heavier in our pajamas and say, “what Easter was that?” I doubt (hope) I’ll ever get crazy enough, even in my old age, to forget this one.

Sunday will mark day 23 of quarantine for my family. I’ve had lots of time to think. Lots and lots of time. So much time. A ridiculous amount of time. In that unprecedented alone time I’ve found that I am grateful, thankful and feeling immensely blessed.

1. Over the last 2 years, I have learned what it looks like to continue to grow my faith and stay in community with fellow believers without sitting in a church service on Sunday morning. All of my life, Sunday morning church was a way of life. However, through a series of events that are for another day to discuss, my learning a new way to worship has prepared us for this quarantine, spiritually speaking. Thanks to technology, my family will also be here, virtually, worshiping via online church this week. Easter will be happening in my home on Sunday.

2. Speaking of technology, had this pandemic happened even a few short years ago the connections that are being made wouldn’t be happening. Thankful for social media, FaceTime and for Zoom (except for Monday morning conference calls with work because looking presentable from the neck up takes work). My family divides up the holidays and we all take our turn hosting. Easter is the holiday I host at my house each year. There will be far less cleanup for Easter 2020 thanks to covid19. Cleaning dishes for a dinner for 4 people is faster than dishes for for 24 people. That’s a teeny tiny silver lining in this. This Sunday, my extended family may be only visible via an iPad propped up on the end of the table, but in times like these, it’s better than not seeing their faces at all. We’ll still “see” each other and laugh together like always. That’s for certain. Easter will be happening in my home on Sunday.

3. I planted some seedlings in a tray. Sweet peppers, pumpkins, watermelon and sunflowers are sprouting from little square plastic cups by the window in my kitchen. Each day they are noticeably taller. Red tulips, that my husband’s aunt and uncle gave me when my Dad died 6 years ago, are in full bloom in my yard. A bird’s nest has already appeared in the awning of my back deck. There is growth and life everywhere you turn. Despite illness that has touched so many families and continues to do so, there are still signs of life. Jesus rose from the grave, giving all of us the hope we need to survive our time on earth before we see him face to face one day. I can’t help but think of how many new faces will be seeing Jesus this Easter due to the pandemic. It’s both heartbreaking yet beautiful. It’s both something to mourn yet celebrate. Easter will be happening in my home on Sunday.

Today I’ll be working from home with my day job, writing an article for a local magazine with my for-fun job, blogging to “twist the release valve” as my therapist would say, cooking, dying eggs with my teenagers who are bored enough that they are excited about it this year and will walk outside to take some deep breaths of fresh air. So thankful for God’s provisions. Grateful for those essential workers who go out and get it done, pushing through their own anxieties and worries because there is a job that needs to be done; heroes without capes.

I’ll also prepare for our Easter dinner of 4. There will be all the traditional foods, minus my aunt’s strawberry cake, which is the worst part of the deal. If you happen to be someone, at home alone or without anyone to “eat” Easter dinner with email me! My family would be happy to have you! I’ll add you on our zoom call!

Easter will be happening in my home on Sunday.

On Christmas morning, after gifts were opened and before the extended family celebrations began, my husband and I went to Starbucks.  It was like an extra gift to us that no one was in the drive thru.  The Starbucks angels were sitting there waiting on me to show up.  But they weren’t.  The friendly voice on the speaker greeting me with “what can I get started for you today” was silent.  Thinking their speaker may be on the outs, we pulled up to the window.  Window closed.  Lights out.  No overly energetic 20-year-old hipster standing at the register.  It was then that I realized they were closed.  On a day I really needed them.  I was stuck in the uncomfortable dichotomy of being disappointed that I wouldn’t get my grande café latte, almond milk with sugar free vanilla and knowing that it was the right thing for Starbucks to do for their employees.  Letting those tattooed, long haired friendly people stay home to celebrate the holidays with their families was the Christmas spirit.

 

That’s how I feel about the corona virus shutting down my life.

 

It sucks.  Pardon my turpiloquio (that’s as close as we are getting to Italy for a while), but I am so bummed that my NCAA basketball tickets are worthless now, my weekend in Nashville got nixed and my kid is missing the best part (the ending) of his senior year of high school.  Also, I’m thankful our country is taking it seriously.  Sure, I’m 43 and mostly healthy so it’s unlikely I’ll get more than cold-like symptoms if I contract the corona virus, but that would mean I may expose my sweet 84-year-old neighbor, Mrs. Peggy, with it and it would very likely be deadly for her.  I love Mrs. Peggy.  If looking out for her best interest means my life needs to come to a screeching halt for a few days, then I think that’s reasonable. After all, I think we’d all agree that these cancellations are 1st world problems when compared to someone’s health.

 

It seems odd to me that the virus is so political on Facebook with many of my republican friends calling it an overreaction and my democrat friends planning their own funerals.  The virus has no political affiliation and it’s spreading.  I probably won’t need a hospital bed, but Mrs. Peggy could so let’s all think with some heart.

 

Call each other to check in…..but God forbid don’t come to my house, because we don’t have enough toilet paper for everyone.  Ride it out.  Show kindness.  It will all be over soon, and we will have things to talk about for a while afterwards.

 

And I propose that Starbucks be proactive by installing self-serve drive thru lattes.  For the good of the people.