By Bernadette A. Moyer
Today after about a month of “social distancing” I decided to start this weekend off with a nice dinner/drinks/dessert at home and in our dining room. I wanted to make it nice and special but also support local businesses that have supported me through my years in the nonprofit arena, work I have done for more than two decades.
So I opened up the china cabinet as I thought “why don’t we use this pretty stuff and why is it just for company?” so I took the inserts out of the table and made it more comfortable for two people. It would be dinner for two at Chez Sahm!
The crystal champagne ice bucket and champagne glasses reminded me of all the special occasions that we used them for and toasted with in the past, and I thought why not now? Why not celebrate “just because” and I pulled them out and cleaned them up. I thought about the people that gifted us those crystal pieces during much happier days. Warm and welcome thoughts embraced me. It felt good.
I had placed a grocery order days earlier that would be coming from Wegmans through Instacart and I decided our table needed flowers. I wanted to support Radebaugh’s Florist in Towson. Normally I would go pick out my own floral arrangement partly because of the added expense of delivery and partly because I enjoy picking out exactly what I want. But in “isolation” and “social distancing” I ordered online.
As I was placing the order I was asked if it was a special occasion like a birthday, thank you, thinking of you etc. and it was not any of them but rather “just because” just because we are going to be home all weekend and I wanted to celebrate being home, life and living it with my husband. Midway through the week he expressed feelings of depression. And I wasn’t in a much better place myself. You can call it what you want but often it does feel like “home detention” and given that we normally lead very active and social lives, it was sad and heavy on our hearts just like everyone else.
Just because my husband is “essential” and works really hard and he deserves it. Just because it is Friday, the start of the weekend when we would normally be going out for dinner and drinks. Just because my husband mentioned late last evening that I might consider getting “gussied up” since I have been wearing tattered old worn sweat clothes for several weeks now. Honestly clothes that even Good Will wouldn’t embrace accepting. Just because I might consider wearing something a little nicer and not my I am cleaning the house attire.
Next up I wanted to support Fairgrounds Discount Beverages in Timonium, again a liquor store that has supported many of my special event fundraisers. So I ordered champagne, the good stuff, the champagne we normally only drink for truly special occasions. Again tonight’s dinner theme is just because! We often run around town and beyond a lot and never truly appreciate our pretty dining room that has been here with us for almost three decades now.
I knew that like myself, my husband needed some joy, some happiness and a night when we didn’t grab dinner from the kitchen and rush to the family room so we could watch endless hours of the news regarding COVID-19. We needed a break and to celebrate life, just because we still have a life to celebrate.
Many of my followers and readers know that I have written about death and about estrangement and many sad stories tied to my life and life experiences. Brian and I share coming up in poverty, he was city poor I was country poor. We knew losing a spouse to death and having adult children estrange. All of our parents are long gone. We have experienced extended periods in our life with deep sadness and sorrow.
One of the great gifts of grief is getting through it and to the other side. One of the greatest gifts is learning that your happiness comes from within and not from other people or things or places.
We have lost much in our lives and have learned to view each loss as a gift, we learned to be better people and to never take life or the quality of life for granted. We learned very early on that life can change in a moment with no advance notice.
Today we appreciate everything we have and share as much as we can with many that are in need. I am a firm believer that giving is for the giver.
But last night was giving to ourselves, taking care of ourselves and one another. We talked for hours without the interruptions of the news and electronic devices. We paused and looked deep into ourselves, each other and our home where we have lived for over 28 years. We are God people and believers who know that like everything this is temporary and will pass.
Last night was so fun, we ate a nice dinner with a few drinks in a pretty dining room with pretty china that we seldom use. We prayed together and we played together. We dusted off our old vinyl records and Brian played DJ as we listened to music from being teenagers and forward. We played games and even danced together.
During this pandemic I have thought deep and long about what is happening. I continue to work from home making phone calls and sending notes and cards to many supporters. Everyone has been thankful to hear from me. People want to talk and to connect.
The hardest part for a person like me who loves people (most people) is the inability to be with them. But maybe that is exactly what this period in time is all about. How do we treat others? What are we saying about them and doing to them to this planet and to the earth? We have a lot to think about and the time to reflect.
We have many friends with many views on life, on religion, on God and on politics and many that are not necessarily on how we view things but we enjoy hearing and seeing from different perspectives. I try hard to see the best in people even the ones that are adults and resort to name calling our political leaders. In my mind, though, I think if you don’t like it and you can do better join forces with others who believe as you do and be the change that you want to see. Sitting back on your sofa and making fun of or calling leaders names does not bring about change.
Peace is so important to me, inner peace where I can be alone with myself and accept myself warts and all, and that came after years and years of working through so much grief, loss and heartaches in my lifetime.
I have nothing to complain about, all in all I have lived a very full life and I don’t want to die of COVID 19 or any other disease, but if I did and when I do, I don’t want to regret not living each day to its fullest no matter where I am and what situation I find myself. We need to appreciate everything and celebrate all that we have no matter how much or how little … just because … it is not over until we take our last breath.
At age 23 I was widowed and I learned the single most valuable lesson, life is for the living, live it, just because you still can …
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