Homecoming

Oh, there’s no place like home for the holidays,

Cause no matter how far away you roam,

When you pine for the sunshine of a friendly gaze,

For the holidays, you can’t beat home, sweet home.


As I was just listening to this popular Christmas tune, I realized how different this year’s holidays will be.

Some things will stay the same, of course. The decorating. The shopping. The music. The food. All in glorious abundance.

Due to the pandemic, though, going home will be more problematic, and surely advised against by the health experts.

Of course, as we proved over Thanksgiving, not everyone will heed said advice. And the infections will spread, again.

Because, by golly, we’re not going to let a little thing like a highly contagious virus ruin our holidays.

I understand the desire, the need, to spend time with family at this time of year. I get it. It stinks that we’re being warned to not do it.

But folks, it’s just not safe.

I know a lot of you refuse to believe that, and a lot more of you don’t care. And I can’t stop you from doing what you want.

All I can do is hope you will choose to be safe, for everybody’s sake. Just call, or Zoom, the ones you wish you could be with. I know it’s not the same, but better than no contact at all.

Believe me, I’m as tired of the coronavirus as anyone else, but it’s still here, and still killing people. None of us like to acknowledge that, but it’s true. We must continue to wash our hands, wear our masks and keep our distance to help prevent the spread of this deadly virus. A vaccine is coming, but it ain’t here yet.

So, please, folks, let’s be sensible about this, and considerate of family and friends, so that we all can survive this crisis and still be around for future holidays.

Merry Christmas, and Happy New Year. Love and peace to you.

Life in Lockdown

Sucks, doesn’t it?

Being stuck in the house all day, every day. Can’t go out to dinner, can’t go to a movie, can’t go to a ballgame, can’t go anywhere, basically.

Can’t go to work, cause I’m a driver with nobody to drive. Got laid off, as a result, so I’m another one of the many newly unemployed folks in our country. Thank goodness my wife still has her job and can work from home, as everyone is encouraged to do who can.

Just stay home and order out and get caught up on TV shows. My wife and I got started on Manifest; interesting show.

I don’t like it, friends, but this is our reality. This is what COVID-19 has wrought.

And honestly, if this is as bad as it gets for me, I’ll be very thankful.

This illness is touching a lot of lives, and I’m so scared it will touch someone in my family, or among my friends.

And it scares me that they will die alone and be buried alone, just because of its potential for spreading. That’s just heartbreaking.

My heart goes out to the people on the front lines of this war, doctors and nurses and health care workers, some giving their lives in the fight to save others. I cannot thank you enough for your compassion and courage. Bless every one of you.

Same for all the people working in the grocery stores, doing their best to keep the shelves stocked, in spite of all the greedy folks who have to hoard stuff so other people have no shot at getting any. Shame on you. A little less selfishness would go a long way, here.

And anyone else out there doing whatever they can to help us get through this, thank you so very much.

I don’t know when we’ll turn the corner on this thing; it could be a long while, yet. And while that’s discouraging, even depressing, we must all do what we’re asked to keep it from getting worse. Please.

This is unlike anything our generation has ever faced before. It’s time for us to prove what we’re really made of.

Do your part. Stay home. I recommend Manifest.

 

 

 

 

 

You Want Them Here Forever

 

One of the bad things about getting older is, everyone else gets older, too.

And the people you love the most, who are older than you, who have always been in your life…

…eventually pass away.

And an essential part of your life is now gone.

You feel deeply hurt and, for a while, a little disoriented.

Your constellation looks different now; there’s a star missing.

And it upsets your sense of order. You want all these precious people who have always been here, to always stay here, defying the inevitable, because you don’t know life without them, nor do you want to.

And you know this is how life is; it’s just the natural order of things. But you still hate it.

 

My wife lost an aunt this week, one that she knew and dearly loved all her life.

Her passing wasn’t that unexpected; she’d been in poor health. But of course, that doesn’t make losing her hurt any less.

I met her 37 years ago, back when my wife was my girlfriend, even before I met my future in-laws. She was a wonderful lady, a terrific sister, wife, mother, grandmother and great-grandmother. She loved her family wholeheartedly, and took care of them the best she could.

I know everyone who knew her will miss her. Like I said at the beginning, letting go of someone you love is always hard, and the older you get, the more letting go you have to do.

And memories, as much as they will sustain you in the future, feel woefully inadequate in the immediate sorrow and grief.

And that’s where family comes in. We cry on each other, hold each other up, affirm our love for each other and for the one who has left.

And we all just go on, considering ourselves so lucky for having known that special someone.

 

Love you, Geneva. You’re one of the best people I ever knew. Rest In Peace.

I Wonder

 

A young, brown-skinned man, his wife and their newborn baby, fled their native country after learning it wasn’t safe for them to stay. They believed their sweet baby’s very life was in grave danger.

So, they sought asylum in a neighboring country.

Now, the people in this neighboring country had no idea who this man and woman were that sought entry.

Were they terrorists, or members of some bloodthirsty gang, intent on murdering everyone in their way?

Were they trying to smuggle something from where they had come?

Were they trying to enter the country illegally? Would they then steal jobs from some other, more deserving people, or expect to get a free ride in their new “home”, not paying their taxes or medical costs?

What possible consequences would there be for allowing this family asylum in their country?

Perhaps this can provide a clue:

The parents’ names were Joseph and Mary, and the baby’s name was Jesus.

You can read their story in Chapter 2 of the Gospel of Matthew, in the New Testament.

Egypt allowed them in. Would we have just closed our border and tear gassed them?

Remember, they were foreigners, they weren’t white, and nobody knew them.

 

Peace on Earth.