May 10, 2020
It Could Never Happen to Me
I anxiously punched in the numbers on my telephone, anticipating the exciting news that my friend Jean had texted she wanted to share.
“I’m coming back to visit for the entire month of July,” she exclaimed. Her happy voice was a breath of fresh air. “And what’s more, I’ve volunteered to teach dance at the studio, ballet and tap, and possibly jazz.”
The dance studio. A place teeming with girls of all ages in pink tights and black leotards, chattering in the dressing room, streaming past each other in the small hallways, lightly touching the barre as they do their grand plies.
“Will you and Ted be taking lessons? I certainly hope so,” she continued. “And what’s more, I was wondering if I could stay with you."
I made a mental note that I would have to check with my husband, but relished the thought of spending meals and long evenings talking with my best friend.
My husband, Ted, was more reserved. “Are you kidding?” he stated. “She might be exposing us to the virus every time she came from that dance studio and walked through the front door.”
My joy was short-lived because I knew that he was right. Other friends e-mailed about signing up for the summer dance classes, expressing that even if they became sick with Covid-19, they would recover, with the upside of gaining some immunity from the virus.
This was puzzling for me, because my worst -case scenario is not getting sick and recovering from the virus, but dying from it, possibly because after taking my son Spenser to the emergency room on a Sunday night, he died the next day.
It’s only natural for each of us to feel that the worst could never happen to me. Until it does. We who have lost a loved one have experienced the shock of a conversation that did not end with, “He’s okay. Everything will be fine. There’s nothing to worry about.”
Everyone is anxious to get back to their routines, but we pray for those who will never be okay again.
So we must give ourselves permission to be safe, even as we face surmounting pressures not to do so. We know that every day is gift, as we live our tomorrows for those we mourn.