By: Anne Maxwell
A walk with a friend on a sunny almost spring day in most circumstances would seem normal in mid-March.
But, when I met my favorite walking partner a few days ago, our world was anything but normal. And, to be honest, our walk was not normal, either. For starters, instead of striding shoulder to shoulder, we opted to each take a side of the walking path to practice social distancing. And our usual topics of what was on the menu at home for supper that night, the latest episode of This is Us, and fashion bargains we’d stumbled upon, we poured out our hearts about the uncertainty of what was ahead, what we were doing to keep our families safe, and even admitted to fears about the wellbeing of our 70 and 80-something parents.
The conclusion of our walk was anything but normal as well. When the path ended and our two miles had been trod, I felt something I’d never felt before we decided to forego our usual hug goodbye and simply waved.
Tears unexpectedly came to my eyes and I couldn’t help but say to her:
“I’m worried about when the next time I’m going to see you will be.”
It was such a strange feeling to say that to someone in my life that I see all the time. A couple of weeks ago, it would have been inconceivable to even have such an emotion in that situation. Of course, all of us can say that about so many of the daily routines in our lives.
The moment I uttered a phrase that made me feel as though nothing was the same, Kari’s response assured me that some things would never change. Her faith met my fear as she recalled a Sunday afternoon a couple of weeks prior to the spread of Coronavirus here in America.
The two of us, along with our husbands, had taken advantage of an unseasonably warm afternoon to share a couple of beers in the sun. We talked and laughed about everything and nothing while we soaked up the atmosphere of one of our favorite local haunts and enjoyed the simple gift of friendship. We even said as we headed out that evening that it had been the perfect time.
“Remember that Sunday?” she said, as I fought back tears on the walking path. “We had such a great day in the sun. We can live on that day for a long, long time.”
As changes continue to come, challenges constantly arise; I cling to the memory of that day in the sun - and so many others before. I know the road ahead will be difficult. Full of sacrifice. Call on us to adapt in ways we never had before.
But I also know it will require us to stand firm in faith. Cling to hope. Offer kindness. And, cherish memories of times with family and friends that will comfort us until new moments can be shared.
I know you all have days in the sun of times spent with family and friends in your hearts and memories as well. Be thankful for them. Share your gratitude for those who helped you create them. And hold them close when you feel any darkness.
We’ll have those days in the sun again. Until then, we’ll light the world for one another.
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