Thank you for wearing masks and not attending church or gatherings, concerts or restaurants, for choosing us over your "freedoms."
No, we are not social pariahs. We have a strong and loving network of friends and family. But my daughter has cystic fibrosis. Cystic fibrosis affects the lungs and digestive systems and the repercussions of contracting Covid 19 could be life threatening.
Showing up is usually the sign of receiving love. This year, NOT showing up was.
As a social butterfly, a lover of parties, dancing, live music, movies, the theatre, brunches with girlfriends, this year has been difficult. I’m a hugger, a big hugger. Even my friends who aren’t big huggers (you know who you are) let me hug them. When we social distanced in back yards, those 6 feet, the masks and not seeing all of your beautiful faces was excruciating. But it was also an act of love.
I wanted to hold my cousin’s new baby, to nibble on his deliciousness. But I didn’t. We sat in a driveway more than 6 feet apart. We admired his coos and giggles from afar. It took every ounce of crazy-baby-loving willpower not to sop him up with a biscuit.
Because of Covid, we were unable to travel to Los Angeles where my daughter's family lives. She hasn't hugged her dad in over a year. As a parent, I constantly questioned my resolve to keep her safe, knowing that decision of safety was also deprivation of family and friends, ocean swims and mountain climbs.
Thank you to everyone who stayed home, who wore masks, who postponed that vacation until vaccination. Thank you for being patient and knowing we would be able to meet again, dance to live music, to hug. Our friends' babies are now toddlers and we missed it. But we are alive. It was worth a year. It was worth the sacrifices.
I am fully vaccinated now, as are my family and most friends. Soon, my teenager will be too. Safely and cautiously, we will tip toe back into the world. Finally. Get ready for a hug.