Easter. It looks a lot different this year, that's for sure. Many, including my own children, are bummed because the holiday — the commercialized aspect along with the family gatherings and traditions — is overshadowed by this global pandemic.
As I sat down last weekend -- Palm Sunday -- to write my next On the Minds of Moms column, I couldn't help but reflect on this week and think about how it might help frame our outlook going forward.
Palm Sunday of course marked the beginning of Holy Week for Christians and Passover for my Jewish friends. It was different this year, for sure. It was an opportunity to dig deeper. This crisis heightens the significance and the absolute essence of the journey to the Resurrection. Hold on to one another. Have faith. All will be well.
The Easter season of 2020 is a stark reminder of the crossing from gloom, despair and isolation to hope, light and victory. The journey requires pain and suffering.
We know that we are amid the darkness of the coronavirus pandemic. We know that there are blessings in hard times. We know the blessings are abundant, even in the gloom.
There also are heroes revealing bravery and selflessness, unity and perseverance. Everyday people, medical professionals, janitors — now considered essential personnel — educators, big money businesses (sports, travel and automobile industries, to name a few), professional athletes, families, neighbors, volunteers and strangers are stepping up to help.
We have never been more alike than we are now. None of us are immune to the devastation and destruction of this virus, personally, professionally, financially or otherwise. We are in this together. The ingenuity and creativity to serve and connect with one another is astounding and heartwarming. United we stand, albeit six feet apart.
It's hard not to think ahead to the next few months. To summer. My fiftieth birthday is on June 25. To be honest, I have been a bit ambivalent about it. Prior to this crisis, I was anxious and unhappy about entering another decade.
My thirties were childbearing and health recovery years. These years were exciting and fast-paced. I gave birth to three of our most precious gifts, Quinn, Patrick and Harper, and I survived and recovered from three brain aneurysm surgeries. Nice work, good and faithful servant.
Turning 40 was my redemption from health scares. I was given a second chance at life, and boy was I thrilled to see 40. My forties were blurry. And, since everything else is being canceled, I could surely call off my fiftieth birthday and reschedule it for next year.
But, I won’t. I can’t. We need to go through the Holy Week, the darkness and fear, to grow and learn. I need to close the chapter of my forties, savor the taste and bask in the simplicity of 50. I am looking forward to a summer of reflection and gratitude.
For now, we must continue to hunker down, follow the rules of quarantine, find joy in the simplicity of our quiet days, pull our resources and strengths, and live like a kindergartener by washing our hands and staying within our (6 foot) bubble.
A few months from now, take time to reflect on Holy Week of 2020. Remember how the darkness, the fear, the anguish, the infection, isolation and suffering beautifully transformed into unity and healing, recovery and hope, and a revitalized life.