By Edith Lazenby
The moon is a cup in the sky I can’t quite empty because the shadow of night steals my might.
I too am full, full of emptiness, the kind we fear death brings if we don’t live right. These days that emptiness lurks and lingers, like smoke it goes under doors and through windows.
Covid 19 made it’s way here.
Some of us stay all alone in our homes. Others have their children all day, maybe for the first time. Many risk their lives working on the front lines, some as doctors others in retail or trucking, keeping our country alive, literally.
Dying is statistical news now.
Every day the news gives numbers of how many died. Every day we work on remaining isolated so we don’t add to the count taken by Covid 19. Every day I pray because it seems like the best thing to do. Every day another dies.
We wear masks not to hide, yet in a mask we cannot see beyond the eyes.
The smiles and tears elude us. Before I get out of my car and before I put on my mask I add lipstick because that is what I do now, like my mother, at my age. And like my mother, at any age, I talk to everyone. I make a point to connect, hungry for another and damned if I allow a disease to dehumanize me—or you.
A friend I know isolates without Covid 19 and reckons with depression. But now those of us at home do too. I talk to a friend and say I have days I don’t get out of my jammies, I don’t leave the house, I barely make it out of bed because time is everything. But that gem is now a coal pit for many. No deadlines. Nothing but staying alive matters, and it does matter, doesn’t it?
I thought suicidal ideation was a rite of passage until I was 30 odd years old. And now my best advice is don’t mess it up. One of my dearest friends went off alone for a weekend and I let her go not knowing if she would come back alive. We live in a world where old age is hidden away and seniors slowly disappear in themselves or literally lose their mind.
But Covid is a snake and is leveling the playing field. My colleague’s dad was sick one day and dead two days later. And he was close to my age! He was alone, like my 93 year old father. I think about that. Who will be by my side when I die? Now in Covid time no one knows if their loved ones will be near even if those dear are, near.
Seniors are the most impacted and God knows I am known to say shoot me by 85, if not before for, as my mom said (bless her), old age ain’t for sissies.
So all of us, humanity as it were, need to take the challenge—be victor, not vanquished, God willing, as it were. We need to keep compassion in our eyes so we can see and be seen. We need to remember even those of us who don’t crawl into holes or have family need friends. We need to support the parents who are parenting full time. We need to help tweens and teens find ways to let go and be inside if not out.
We need to stand in our light. All of us, wherever we are.
Edith Lazenby is a teacher and a writer. She believes in taking risks, having fun, and embracing the people she meets along the way.
Editor: Dana Gornall