(Editor’s Note: We normally do not run anonymous editorials or letters to the editor. However, we are making an exception for this column sent to us recently because it expresses what so many are feeling during this difficult time of the COVID-19 pandemic.)
I am a senior citizen and I am susceptible. I live alone. I stay alone. My governor and my doctor say it is important that I stay alone as much as possible. I do. But my brain is not dead and I think. More than anything I think. I feel passion and empathetic pain for them. For whom?
The old man and his wife had been married for nearly 50 years, and they decided to plan a big celebration for their golden anniversary. The hall had been reserved and the rent had been paid for the upcoming gathering. There would be an anniversary cake. They didn’t have a real wedding cake at the time of their marriage. Decorations were being planned. His tuxedo had been reserved, and she had dieted for months so that she could wear her original wedding dress. The invitations had been printed and were even stuffed into the envelopes. Their children were working on displays of memorabilia from their parents past years as a happy couple. And then .... it came ... C.
She had finished all the long years of nurse’s training. It had been her dream since childhood. She made excellent grades throughout all her education. She had completed all the practical experiences and specialty training for her chosen field of nursing — geriatric nursing. She landed her dream job as a full-fledged RN in a large senior nursing care center. And then ... it came ... C.
He was a sophomore in high school. He was too short to play basketball and too small to play football. He didn’t make the soccer team, but he accepted that. It would give him more time to run in preparation for the track season. He ran distance and he was good. The neighbors on his street could testify to that as they watched him run by every day of the week. He always waved as he ran by. He knew it was his time to shine. The other high school students would know he was. And then ... it came ...C.
She was a world-class gymnast and she knew that. She practiced every day and had for years. She had competed successfully in many gymnastic meets. Her personal coach told her that 2020 would be it — the year that she could make the Olympic Team and compete in Japan. She visualized herself on the podium singing the National Anthem of the United States of America as the flags were raised to honor the countries of the winners. She had done what her coach had told her she could do. She was going to compete. Wow! Japan! But then .... it came ... C.
The little boy had loved baseball from the time he could remember. He had been through T-ball and coach pitch seasons. Now, it was time for time to do the real stuff. He would swing at a ball pitched by a member of an opposing team. He could hardly wait. Sign-up day arrived, and he and his dad were the first people in line to get his name on the list. Practices had just begun. He was so excited. And then ... it came ... C.
She was a junior in high school and prom would be happening in a few months. She had picked her dress out, and her parents had purchased it for her. She modeled it proudly and started marking off the days on her calendar until the big day would arrive. She joined the prom committee to help with the planning and decorations. It was fun. It was everything she thought it could be. And then ... it came ... C.
The aged man had died in his sleep with no warning of any illness that would have brought this on. He had been a popular figure in his community. Shock waves spread throughout the small town. His stunned family began the arduous task of planning his calling hours and funeral service. But the funeral director warned them that there would be problems they would have to face. Many people would not be paying their tribute to their devoted relative. It had come quickly ... it was here ... C.
The young executive had always wanted to go an an African safari. He had saved for that event for years. It would be costly. But, alas, he though he could swing it. He made arrangements with a company in central Africa to become part of a small group that would take an exciting trip through the jungles and deserts of the continent. He made his own flight arrangements. He liked doing that. He had saved up vacation days so that his pay would not be reduced for taking the trip. He made arrangements to have someone watch his home while he would be gone. He checked his itinerary almost every day and watched the seat maps fill up as the trip grew closer. He was so excited. But then ... it came ... C.
The family loved their annual vacation trips. This year it would be special. It would be a full week at Walt Disney World. Their resort had been reserved for months. Their theme park tickets were all reserved and prepaid. They even bought new suitcases for this once-in-a-lifetime trip. The parents had carefully planned every aspect of the journey to get there on time. The kids had planned what they would need to pack and what snacks they would want in the car. Ah, excitement was creeping up on them. But something else crept up on them ... there it was ... C.
He was a college graduate and a good baseball player. He has spent six years in the minor leagues hoping to make his way to the big time. It was his dream. This year as he left for Arizona and spring training, he had this feeling that this would be the year. He had trained all winter and just knew it could happen. The big time surely would come this major league season. Spring training came and was going great. He was getting a lot of playing time and getting to know the big stars of the game. And then it came ... C.
She had reluctantly put her dad into a nursing home. She just could not leave him alone in his house and she didn’t have a spare room at her house. Besides, he told her that he would try to be content if she thought it was best. So he left his home of many years and said good-bye to most of his personal belongings. The house would soon be sold. He was adjusting. His daughter and some of his grandchildren came to see him often and that helped a lot. And then ... it came ... C. His daughter could no longer enter the rest home. He was in something like solitary confinement. His caretakers were wearing masks and always scrubbing everything. He could only wave at his family through the window and hope they could dry their tears.
C is here. It came. It saddens me every day. My passion and empathetic pain grow heavier each day. C is more than daily numbers. It is more than new rules for us. It is thousands of stories of heartbreak to, oh so many, people. I pray it may end. Then I can say. It came ... it was horrible ... it slowly lessened ... would it ever be gone ... C?