May 5, 2020 – A Microscopic Parasite is Keeping Us Hostage
Covid 19 is a small virus only 50 nanometers…about 1/1000th the width of a typical human hair! Yet it packs a punch larger and more deadly than the Korean and Vietnam wars combined …and still it’s lethal grip is far from over.
We are being held hostage in our homes, and our lives, by a microscopic parasite. One day we are going about life as usual, and the next day we are living a real life science fiction movie. Blame, politics, and science aside, this has consumed our lives. Face masks are our new fashion accessories. Purell and clorox are our new fragrances. Grocery aisles have become one way streets… and I am suddenly a rebel going the wrong way in the produce section! We have become skeptical of everyone around us and we avoid human contact. Some necessities are scarce and we’ve learned to improvise, and go without. Toilet paper is a commodity, and oil is worthless..Parents have become educators, barbers and beauticians. Even the non techy among us have had to learn to Facetime and Zoom! I think for me as simple as it may sound the hardest part is not being able to share a smile under our new protective covers. Life as we know it will be different for the foreseeable future. But amid all the chaos and uncertainty there is still good and positives that can be found.
My family has always been homebodies, so not too much has changed.. but for so many families who ate out often, or were rarely together, they are learning to cook and appreciate the family time around their dining table. For some couples “date nights” have become creative, thoughtful ways to show your mate it’s still fun just to spend time together… without having to go out to dinner, movies or bars. My neighbors will tell you I have always loved to exercise especially outdoors..and now I have lots of company! My sidewalks and streets are filled with fellow joggers and walkers. And while we may have to stay on opposite sides of the street, the friendly waves and nods give me hope, that even after our quarantine we may have some more exercise enthusiasts among us. Are there more birds this year? Are the sunsets more beautiful this spring? Or is it that now we simply have the time to stop and notice? I hope when we can reclaim our lifestyles everyone will still keep dear the lessons learned and hug and smile a little longer, appreciate some workers a little more, always try to forgive because we do not know what tomorrow holds, and continue to be grateful for the little things, because in the end, they are the most important things. Please stay well! God bless you all!
April 20, 2020 – Living the Mission of the Y
I have been blessed to be a part of a YMCA organization in one form or another, on and off throughout my life. As a youngster and teen I participated in programs and swim teams. So much of who I am today is a result of my Y experiences in my youth. As an adult wanting to pay that forward I went to work at the Y. It gives me such pride to be able to help the children, families, and staff and have them benefit from my experiences. I came to the Y to give back to others, the irony is, that even now, 30+ yrs later as an adult, the Y is once again giving me a chance to grow as a person.
This was never more true than this past month. Watching my students learn to swim, or qualify for states, or helping members or staff to meet their goals is all amazing, but the community service is humbling and fulfilling and without a doubt the most rewarding.
Despite the stresses and uncertainty of this past month, I can’t help but feel blessed to be living the mission of the Y. Talk about an organization that “puts its money where its mouth is”. The past 3 days I was part of a community outreach project with Philabundance that took 10 pallets of donated food..approximately 10,000 lbs.. and with about 7 other volunteers transformed our Y gymnasium into a food pantry operation to benefit hundreds of families. By day three my back hurt but my heart was full! And while it was a lot of work, it was really just a drop in the bucket when you stop to think of the need.. but it was our drop.. and every little drop counts.
I am reminded of many famous quotes that are near and dear to my heart, especially one by Mother Teresa, “Never worry about numbers. Help one person at a time, and always start with the person nearest you.” Or perhaps another quote that so many of us know “helping one person may not change the whole world, but it could change the world for that one person.” Even helping one person you’ve helped the whole Community. It’s just like a ripple in the pond.
Like so many Y’s across the country we are providing much needed child care for essential workers so they can do their jobs for all of us! Additionally we’re calling our seniors and checking on them… some need groceries or medicines… and some just enjoy chatting for a few minutes. We encourage them to stay well, direct them to workouts and other resources. All are eternally grateful. I speak to them on the phone and have often marveled at the resilience of that generation! So I hope, despite challenges, this finds you and yours well. Count your blessings and if you are able donate where you can – money, time, or something as simple as writing a card to one of our seniors. TheY will take it all!
Every drop counts!