Yes, we have lived thru a year like no other. One where at its end we are glad to be alive. Let’s take the time to give thanks and gratitude to ourselves for what we have done to be still here. For how we were able to keep our families thriving while living through the pandemic.
At the end of March, as we were ordered not to leave our homes. No longer in charge of our lives. Forced unwillingly and without experience, faced with new challenges, we had to do something, to keep ourselves and our families safe, somehow maintain our homes. And we did.
At home 24/7. With our personal stress of issues, wondering how we will pay our bills, times we questioned where the next meal would come from. Kids couldn’t go to school and we, without teacher training was expected to create school, along with recess at home. Some of us lost our jobs. Some had to go to work regardless of the danger. It was overwhelming, but we had no choice under the circumstances. We, as mothers and fathers recreated ourselves, learning to do what would keep us and our family alive and thriving.
Caught in the magnitude of it all, if you felt like me, bewildered by what was happening. We found ourselves in the true land of the unknown. Putting us in doubt of… if and how we would survive. Leaving us questioning our ability to do so.
We searched within ourselves to find our way in this brand-new world full of terrible predictions. The pandemic, the politics, the behavior of our fellow citizens. The challenges we faced was not just the fear of illness. But also, as time passed, we came to question the intentions of the government to control this virus.
Decisions made which sent out conflicting messages of what to do to stay safe. Politics interfering and confusing solutions. Its consequence was the division in the minds of American citizens as we fought to stay safe from Covid-10. Came down to if everyone would agree to wear a mask. Such a simple solution turned by politics into by some a personal refusal to act from the realistic perception, of the life and death situation we are in. As they chose not to.
Under these circumstances, we could have been easily thrown up our hands. Giving into the atmosphere of powerlessness. But we used our basic coping skill, the one we had learned to use over time. One that has constantly insured our survival. We connected to our strength and we just… “Kept on Keeping on.” Doing what we needed to do to keep ourselves and our family safe and alive.
Think about it.
Look back at the beginning of the year…who were we?
What were we doing? What were we enjoying?
What has changed?
Who have we become since then?
What can we do now we didn’t think or know we could?
What new have you learned about yourself this year? Your strength? Your coping skills? Your resilience?
What are the challenges you overcame? What was good in your life did you manage to hold on to and is still in your life today?
Are our families and ourselves are safe? Still living in harmony with one another. Maybe not perfectly but with the desire to do so.
We found ways to deal with not being together…one on one, with our loved ones and friends?
Had to find new ways to entertain ourselves other than how we used to. Along came Zoom. Our only outlet for face to face togetherness. Turns out it became a blessing.
Are there experiences created out of this chaos, you have come to enjoy and are thankful for?
Are you looking forward to the future, in spite of the chaos this year?
Say yes… I did do it.
So, no matter what we have been thru, we must celebrate. Our steadfastness. Our faith. Our commitment. The trust we placed in ourselves, in our family.
Our “keep on keeping on” in spite of the odds.
Celebrate because we did not give up.
We faced it. Stood up to it. Sometimes we weren’t able to, but we did the best we could. We did not quit.
Finally, I want to remind.
Don’t forget to talk with the children. Ask questions to see what their understanding of these events are. Encourage them speak to about their fears, what are they thinking, and what they think these changes and what they mean to them. Help them create ways to manage these feelings. Tell them stories of how our elders, their ancestors made it thru. Create an open and accepting conversation, letting them believe, when they come to you, you will listen to hear them. A place where they can find comfort and response to their concerns.
Encourage them to celebrate themselves, too. They hung in, they adapted as best they could. Speak to them, point out their successes. Help them, show them how to give themselves credit. Listening to you as you explain how thankful you are for their efforts. Show it to them from their point of view and not how we may have experienced it. It is important to help them understand what they did to help keep the family going, too. This conversation will help them to believe in themselves and instill within themselves hope for their future. BELIEVE YOU DESERVE THE SELF-PRAISE AND…
We Wish You and Your Family a Happy Holiday
From Eddie Mae, Catherine, Omar and Lois ,Your Caregiver Facilitators