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Opinion: The pandemic brought my family together and made me realize how fragile other familiies are

Opinion: The pandemic brought my family together and made me realize how fragile other familiies are

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As the prospect of the nation getting vaccinated becomes a reality, I think all of us are more hopeful. We are all anxious to get out and live life again.

I don’t know if anything will return to normal, though, at least not normal as we knew it. Most likely, we will have to get used to a new normal that approximates the old. Whatever the new normal looks like, I am OK with it, as long as COVID is not a part.

One blessing that our family’s response to the pandemic has generated as we are spending more time at home is that we have gotten to know each other again. Even though she doesn’t talk a lot, my introverted wife is so thoughtful and intelligent that short conversations have me thinking for days about her logic’s meaningfulness. She helps me to be more mindful.

I forgot that my niece cooks great cheesy bread; loves real estate; is really into the community, and is exceptionally tidy. She has taken over my home office, routinely holds virtual group chats in it, and honestly has made cool changes to the space.

My nephew is quite the entrepreneur, is wise beyond his years, isn’t opposed to going to college, and has plans for his future that are courageous and genuinely fascinating.

I am trying to keep the magic going, so we are now more intentional about eating dinner together, planning a family vacation, having family meetings, and sharing responsibility for taking care of Ty, our dog.

Before the pandemic, he was generally thought of a my dog because no one wanted to be bothered. He likes to get up in the middle of the night and chase rabbits, will willingly eat his dog food only when there are no doggie snacks to be had within a five-mile radius, and snores like he works double shifts at the Amazon distribution center.

It’s as if we have been forced to live together again. We tolerate each other more; we value one another more; we overlook each other’s annoying habits more and have generally become more supportive of one another. I think COVID-19 has made all of us appreciate what’s truly important.

Our true wealth consists of our health, our family and time. Each day is truly a blessing.

Like everyone else, I try not to take any of these blessings for granted. Serving at Meals on Wheels reminds me often what the loss of one, two or all three of these blessings might mean. Losing one would be devastating; losing two, disheartening, but losing all three would be catastrophic.

And yet, we serve neighbors every day who have lost or are losing what we often take for granted. They are trying to be brave, searching for the strength to cope with their new normal. Usually, through no fault of their own, they face daunting circumstances as they struggle to maintain independence, mobility and dignity. Many are struggling to remain in their own homes.

If fortunate to see advanced age, we may face a time when we, too, will have to make difficult decisions, like choosing between medicine or food; or may find it challenging to find the necessary inspiration to live.

We all need inspiration; we all need community; we need to feel and understand continually who we are in relation to others. I think that’s what it means to be human. When one loses that, loneliness, isolation and depression can be difficult foes to defeat.

As spring arrives, and you make plans to face your new normal. Remember that we all have neighbors who were wrestling with the notion of a new normal long before the pandemic began. And remember that Meals on Wheels is trying to make it better for them every day.

Calvin A. Moore is CEO and president of Meals on Wheels Of Metro Tulsa and a member of the Tulsa World Community Advisory Board. Opinion pieces by members of the board appear in this space most weeks.


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Calvin A. Moore is CEO and president of Meals on Wheels Of Metro Tulsa and a member of the Tulsa World Community Advisory Board. Opinion pieces by members of the board appear in this space most weeks.

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