While sheltering in place I noticed a habit I developed. This habit must have caused my cat, Norie, to wonder the following thoughts: “Why does she keep waking me up from my naps? Is she bored or what? She’s driving me crazy! Is she crazy?”
What Norie doesn’t realize is I worry that she’s bored or not getting enough exercise. But everyone knows, including me that cats sleep 18 or more hours a day. So what is my problem?
I have to admit that some of it is from the depressing Covid 19 news. But I finally figured out the real problem: I have lost many who were important to me to death. As a retired nurse from working 37 years, I saw many deaths and tried to prevent a good many of them too. At the time I accepted them with compassion, understanding, some grief (if I knew them well or if they were young), and sometimes guilt. We nurses sometimes worry if there was something we could have or should have done differently, better or sooner regardless of the fact that almost always it was just that patient’s time to pass away.
There is another factor evident here though. I must admit that sometimes I am afraid I will come home from some activity and find my cat permanently asleep. I am an older woman now, over 70 years old. I am not afraid of death for myself. My spiritual and most of my earthly preparations have been made.
I realize that probably many people, my age, have lost loved ones and beloved pets. But just to get a picture of my experiences: between the ages of 12 and 59 I lost both parents, all four grandparents, my uncles, my husband, at least two high school classmates who were dear friends, a couple of friends, my husband’s mother, uncle, and aunt and several years after my husband’s death, his father, one aunt, and a neighbor who lived above me.
I had a dog once who died after Thanksgiving when I was about 15. I remember the grief I experienced over losing ChaCha, a sweet little rat terrier, Chihuahua mix.
For a long stretch I didn’t have any pets. After my husband’s death I adopted one son’s cat, one-year old Norie, in December 2010. The next year I adopted, three-year old, Sister. I wrote a post on Sister’s death 8 years later. She was a very sweet cat, who loved me as I loved her. Sometimes, I still tear up just thinking about her.
So now you may see, how the Covid 19 virus killing people all over the world, could cause thoughts of death, grief, and loss to sneak into my mind. At first I worried about my oldest adult son and his wife catching the virus and being on respirators. My mind froze with fear when I thought of them because they live in a small city and work around people all day long. Finally their jobs gave them some protections so I felt they are pretty safe now.
My second son and his wife and two boys, aged 5 and 3, and a 2-1/2 year old girl, live out in the country, and have stock piled supplies so there is little need to go shopping. I feel like they are more secure than anyone in the middle of an acre of land set back from the road.
The truth is I couldn’t protect any of them by worrying any way. But if you are a mother, you know your adult kids are still your children as well as their family and you want to protect them if possible. But the thought of losing any of my kids is a heart stopping one.
Then one of my best friends is a nurse cares for Covid patients on the hospital floors. My other friend retired a year ago. Until the numbers of Covid patients started going up I wasn’t worried about either one because of the precautions they took like protective gear they have to wear.
Worrying is not going to make a difference. I write this thinking of other mothers and fathers, daughters and sons, with relatives they worry about. It is normal I think in situations like this and in times like these that we are concerned and even worry at first. But then comes the time you have to release the fears for their safety, knowing that there is nothing for us to do except pray and leave them in God’s hands and believe.
The fears for all of my loved ones has lessened greatly after hearing of the milder versions of the virus and their relatively safe work environments. There is hope for a new medicine too. But I still pray for their safety and protection. Of course I pray for our world too. That is all I can do. The rest is left up to God.
Most of you are too young to remember Doris Day but she sang a song which became her song. It came from a movie she starred in named, “The Man Who Knew Too Much.” In the beginning of the movie Doris Day’s character always sang a song to her son. The key words were: “Whatever will be, will be. The future’s not ours to see, Que Sera, Sera.” Below is the link to it.
Nothing can stop some anxiety but we can’t be sucked into a never ending tornado that paralyzes or wrecks our lives. Many have suffered much but many have eventually overcome a large part of the grief and tragedy over time. Also many are getting the covid vaccines and boosters. This gives me hope.
As Psalm 30:5 reminds us: “Weeping may endure for the night, but joy comes in the morning.” Of course grief can last longer and symbolically is our night. But there can be a morning (new day) in which many can come through on the other side of the pain and enjoy the memories and tokens left from that person.
Also I know I have mentioned the Prayer of Serenity before but it neatly applies to this anxiety too. We need to pray for ourselves, our safety and health too.
God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, Courage to change the things I can change, And the wisdom to know the difference.
Sometimes you just have to accept that whatever is meant to happen will happen. All I can do is believe in a higher power who has the world’s best interest at heart.