Tomorrow I get my first COVID vaccine. I am eligible because I work with Seniors. I find it interesting that I hold a bit of guilt that I am in line before so many others. I feel grateful that I have access to the vaccine. I feel relief that I have so far managed to get through the pandemic without testing positive.
I found myself on the Air BNB site last night. I began to think about travel and getting away. I have missed the opportunity to travel. I want to first go to New Jersey to see my brother and sister in law, as they moved during COVID.
I want to visit my nephew and his girlfriend in South Carolina and my niece in Colorado. I want to go to Canada and the Netherlands to see my family there. I would like to spend time with my friends in Texas and my cousin in Huntington Beach. There is a perfect spot on Little Gasparilla Island that I would like to return to visit. Yes, I have missed the opportunity to travel.
I am looking forward to seeing my sister and her family, who live close, but we haven’t been together. I miss my friends, and I realize that as I consider some positive changes on the horizon, my heart begins to feel the depth of the ache for all we have missed in the last year. I feel the risk of hoping, wondering if we are moving towards change? Even with a new normal, at least there might be a sense of routine and possibility!
And I am reminded that so many people deal with the long term effects of COVID. There is the physical and mental struggle, financial impact, and loss of life. Yes, I have missed travel, and I am grateful for the vaccination, but so many live with lasting and painful reminders of COVID 19.
I do not think it is wrong to hold gratitude and embrace what becomes possible again. But may I never fail to grieve what some others are left holding. For so many, the reality is that there are ruins as a result of COVID. I do not want to miss the beauty of what lies ahead, but neither do I want to forget the pain that sadly can not always be left behind. I invite you to live in the tension of acknowledging both of these truths. Yes, the vaccine feels hopeful, but it does not remove the pain that many now have embedded in their souls.
May Grace, Mercy and Peace be yours,
Blessed Be His Name,