Gratitude in a Time of Crisis


“dragonfly” by davedehetre is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Like all of you, I am living in the strangest and most stressful of times. Like you, I am dealing with all of the sadness, worry and fear that has come with the Covid-19 global pandemic.

I am afraid of getting sick and dying. I am afraid of passing on this terrible sickness to my 90 year old mother, and to my newborn grandson.

I am worried about the collapsing economy, and about all of those I know and love who suddenly find themselves without jobs. I worry about the trauma of having done everything right, from completing college to getting a decent job, to paying back student loans, and yet having it all fall apart because of a microbe that none of us can see.

I am sad about the people I can’t hug. My sons, my siblings, my friends. I miss the contact. I miss the support. I miss the feeling of being loved.

But even in the midst of all of this, I know that I am incredibly blessed. I know it, and I am trying to hold on to that awareness.

In March, when the world shut down and all of us huddled in our respective nests, I was grateful to have a spouse whose company I treasure. I was grateful for our house, for the safety of our three kids, for the fact that his job could continue from home.

In April and May, I was grateful that my daughter and her family live only a half a mile away, and are part of our “quaranteam”. I was so thankful to be able to see them and hold them and be a part of their Covid life.

In June I was grateful for my big yard, and the chance to grow some food. I was grateful for the fact that I live in a place where farms and farmstands and local markets abound.

But July came around, and I found myself tired of the stress, worried about the worry, anxious about the future. My daughter is a teacher, and I am scared to death of her return to the classroom. My sons have jobs that have them interacting with the public, and I am so afraid of them getting sick.

I am worried about my 90 year old Mom, and about my siblings who help to care for her. I am worried about my little granddaughter, who won’t be going to kindergarten in September after all.

It is getting harder every day to stay grateful.

But sometimes there is a moment of grace, and we are forced to see how lucky we are.

At 64 years old, it isn’t surprising that I have developed a set of cataracts. My eye doctor told me a year ago that I should think about having them removed “in a year”.

But in early February I realized that I couldn’t see to drive at night. I realized that my vision was getting more and more murky, and so I made an appointment to go back to the doctor.

He checked my vision and told me with a bit of surprise that my vision was deteriorating much faster than he’d anticipated. We made an appointment to have my cataracts removed in late March.

But, alas, Covid arrived and elective surgery went away.

So I waited. My vision grew foggier and grayer, and driving even in the light of day became a challenge.

And here is my moment of gratitude.

Last week, at last, I had my right eye repaired. The cataract was removed and a new lens was put in place. The vision in my right eye went from 20/80 to 20/25 in an hour.

Last night I sat on our deck, watching the sun set and feeling the breeze. I laid my head back against the deck chair, and looked up.

Far overhead, whizzing along like a rocket, I saw a dragonfly. He swooped and dove and sped off over my rooftop.

And I could see him.

I held my breath, and let the tears flow down.

“I can see you,” I whispered. Another dragonfly sped past, and then another.

We are still living in a time of danger and sadness. But I am suddenly so grateful.

I can look up. I can see a dragonfly.

I am more than blessed, and I am determined to remember that.

13 thoughts on “Gratitude in a Time of Crisis

  1. Beautiful post! Yes, we must strive to meditate on our blessings to help us get through this difficult time. It’s wonderful that you’re sight has returned. Continue to be observant to the blessings around you, this has helped me during this anxious and depressing time. God has created so many wonderful things for us to think about. Whether it’s watching nature, how intricate and well designed our bodies are, great food, time with family and friends (even if it’s through Zoom) we have our basic necessities covered. Thank you for this reminder.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. So glad you were finally able to get this done. I have two friends in MA who are still waiting to schedule this fall. My husband was so lucky — he got his done in mid-January, he had been struggling for awhile and was thrilled at the difference.

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      • That was very sweet of you. My husband insisted on schlepping to Stanford (we live in Marin), but his doc was excellent. So when it’s my turn in a few years, I will schlep to Stanford also.
        Meanwhile my friends Roni in Hanover and Susan in Nantucket wait to get scheduled and struggle to read and drive.

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      • Driving was the worst!!! A month before my surgery I stopped along a small road to let a little boy cross. He was wearing yellow overalls and had on a black ball cap. He didn’t move, so I kept going, slowly. He was fire hydrant……
        I hope that you are safe from the fires! My friends in Berkeley are really feeling it!

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      • That’s so funny!
        Next time you see your friends in Berkeley, you have to meet me as well. I hate to think of your coming to CA and our not finally meeting in person.
        We had to stay indoors because of the smoke for a week (air is good now), but we were lucky to have an “indoors,” unlikely so many people who had only ruins.

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