2020 Will Not Be Lost

by R.L. Witter

Being a full-time germophobe and part-time introvert haveblikely made social distancing easier for me than most, but as we approach July, I’m feeling it. My husband and I are privileged to both be working from home. The days basically blend together with the exception of our Sunday evening drive where we attempt to watch the sunset.

We miss people. We longingly remember when Saturday was the banner day of the week. Morning chores led to an afternoon movie, then evening brought food, friends, and fun.

The other day I realized the last time I carried a purse was in February when I saw a play with my four favorite girlfriends. It was last time we saw each other in person. Our March outing, canceled; two of us celebrated our birthdays in April and while I truly enjoyed the online afternoon tea party, it definitely wasn’t the same. Three of our group of five celebrated birthdays in June, but we couldn’t have the fancy brunch we had planned.

Easter passed and it was just the two of us at the table. Mother was supposed to come for a visit in April, but that couldn’t happen. Hubby planned to cook for her, spoil her, and show her the sights. I was looking forward to playing Scrabble and washing and styling her hair. We didn’t get to see each other for Mother’s Day or Memorial Day. Unless there’s a cross-country road trip in the near future, it’ll be fall before we can sit on the couch in our pajamas and drink our morning coffee.

Thus far 2020 seems to be a lost year. Many lost jobs, loved ones, and time with our loved ones. Weddings are postponed, funerals take place online, and yet thousands of people protest in the streets in the midst of a pandemic because too many lives are already at risk due to police brutality, hatred, and systemic racism. And in this time of loss and uncertainty, those people are a huge part of why I haven’t lost my faith.

I don’t want to “go back to normal” when the pandemic is over. I pray we’ll take with us and remember the quiet moments of reflection, the kindness of others, and bravery of those who are endeavoring to bring about a new normal where black lives will matter and things will be different. And to George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and all of the others who didn’t and will not make it through 2020: you may have lost your lives, but you aren’t lost. You will be remembered as the sparks that lit the flames we’re fanning.