It's hard to believe that we are just one month away from the mid-way point of 2020, and I am already looking forward to 2021. I just wish 2020 would take the hint and GTFO. First, the virus and the following lock down. Then, murder hornets or Baskin Bees, which ever way you look at it. Now... a potential tropical storm forming off Florida several weeks prior to the start of hurricane season. I'm honestly afraid to verbalize that question plaguing us all. What's next?
It took losing my aunt this last week for it to really sink in that 2020 and Covid19 has stolen so much from us.
After coming home from the rehab facility just before COVID19 reared it's ugly head in Indiana, her daughters and granddaughters were unable to spend what we now know was her last few precious months with her. My mom unable to care for her sister. Her granddaughters losing out on one last memory with their Nonna. Though at the end, we were able to bring her home and spend her last few days with her so many others aren't able to bid their loved ones goodbye.
No last hugs.
No bed side vigils.
No last kiss goodbye.
My aunt, a well-respected member of her community, a teacher and principal of over 33 years, was laid to rest with 25 people there to attend her funeral. Not even all of the immediate family could attend the service because of the measures currently in place, and were left to brave the severe storms ravaging our area to attend the graveside service. While we plan to have a memorial service later when the situation is better, it broke my heart to see so many of the familiar faces from our family not being able to attend. To miss the chance as reconciling and finding closure to a live well spent and taking away too soon.
It's the cruelest thing of all, and an eye-opener in our current state. How many others are forced to do the same? How many other people are without jobs, without means, and without hope? It really brings things in a vastly different perspective to how I felt several weeks back after lock down first began for us. Even as the restrictions are slowly being lifted here, I find myself re-evaluating what is most important to me. What would have been priorities for me seem silly almost, and thinking back to all the wasted time in my life that I spent on those things honestly is like salt in the wound. My aunt's countless invitations for us to come up for a weekend t visit her at their lake trailer dismissed because I was always too busy to go. Too busy for my family. It burns just typing that. All that time wasted. All those memories never made because I was "too busy."
I will never be too busy for my family again. Those moments are too precious to waste again.
Avelyn Paige is an Wall Street Journal and USA TODAY bestselling Motorcycle Romance author.