The rays of sunlight hit the left side of my face. I know what day it is because I get to help my daughter with her schoolwork. I’m unfolding into quarantine like everyone else. With tears. Gratitude. Anger. Scrolling on social media too much and then forgiving myself. Because if I can’t be kind to myself now, I’ll never be kind to myself. Yesterday was hard. Sitting with my daughter who is a senior as she processed her grief. Making her lunch out of simple foods that I know she likes. Crying in the shower. Reaching out to friends while knowing they were in their own houses dealing with their own grief. My husband made us a simple dinner and I remembered that feelings change. I watched my oldest rebound into the cheerful version of herself. I gave myself time to write. My husband made me go outside to greet the full, gorgeous moon. While outside, I ran into the neighbor who reminds me of my brother Mike. The hard day ended well.
And now I sit here with the rays of light resting on my left temple. I have to tell you this: the Easter Bunny is real. She visited my house this morning. A friend offered to buy ingredients for our Easter Bunny cake. The cake we usually take on vacation. The vacation I canceled a few weeks ago. We have to still make the cake. And eat it—not in the car, at the beach, at the rental house. But at home. And my friend said, I’m going to the store, let me buy the ingredients for you. She knocked and left the groceries on the porch, calling out that she bought use some treats:
A box of tiny Easter cakes
A pie made with Oregon berries
(We were supposed to go to the Oregon coast)
Sea salt and vinegar chips: my oldest daughter’s favorite chips
Easter chocolates that I can put out Easter morning
Jelly beans and chocolate to decorate our Easter bunny cake
I cry as I unpack the groceries. The Easter Bunny dropped off groceries this morning.
Then I opened my 8th grade daughter’s school email and discover that her science teacher sent us a graph for her science project. After I asked him for help because we couldn’t figure out how to make the graph. We don’t think like scientists here. Last year, my daughter’s tutor helped her make a graph. This year, I made myself ask her science teacher for help after we tried to make said graph for 30 minutes. That’s my new rule: ask for help instead of letting your frustration erupt.
These two small stories wash over me. I have to tell you that these last few days have been difficult. Hearing my senior won’t get to go back to school with her friends or have a normal prom and a senior skip day or throw her school books in the air on the last day of school, I sob as I type this. My grief is real. My daughter’s loss is a death for her. People say, oh, but she’ll always remember this. It will make her stronger. But loss is loss is loss. It gets to suck before it makes her stronger. She has to grief. I have to grief. I have to sit with her and then sit with myself and we both have to let ourselves feel before we can get to what is next. A new version of senior year.
This morning these gifts from our friend—who I will now always think of as the Easter Bunny—and from my youngest daughter’s science teacher—these gifts carry me. I feel loved and supported. I’m reminded that there is good in the world. Lately I have been so sad and angry by how unprepared our country is, by how the people leading our country are running our country with money as their motive. I’ve been grief stricken by our personal losses. Scared for the people who I know who are sick and worried about my parents. But right now I sit here as the sun’s rays warm me up and I am thankful. Restored. Ready for another day. And for that, I’m grateful.