At the beginning of each year I create a list of the blogs I intend to write for Ladies of Mystery. This month I had planned to write about choosing seasons as setting in a book.
But that’s not going to happen. As COVID-19 continues to shatter many of our communities and insert itself into our lives regardless of whether we remain healthy or not, I decided that the topic didn’t feel right. Instead, this blog is called Family of the Heart.
Let me explain: My husband and I live in a small village on Lake Ontario in New York state. Our nearest relatives live in Buffalo, about a two-hour drive away; siblings live in Pennsylvania and Florida and our children in New Jersey and California. Trips we’d planned to visit them were cancelled, and now of course, for several weeks we’ve been sheltering in place. One would assume, then, that we are isolated, but the good news is that we are not.
My next door neighbor, Bonnie, called one morning. She was heading to the grocery store and wanted to know if we needed anything. This week, I’ll call and ask her. On several occasions we’ve participated in Zoom happy hours with friends who we have not seen for ages even though we live within walking distance, and with friends from far away. One evening several of us texted, it was a venting session to be sure, but it felt good to know we weren’t alone in our fear and apprehension. There’s also been lots of sharing of funny videos and jokes via email and Facebook, and we’re talking on the phone more frequently with those we love.
Two of our friends adopted dogs; we did, too. Nova, a beagle, came to us from a no-kill shelter, and we were advised she had some potentially life-threatening health challenges, the result of being neglected and abused in an earlier life. We decided to adopt her anyway. She’s lovely and sweet, but we were anxious to see our vet. When we called, she never hesitated, and we took Nova for an office visit after hours, a necessary precaution these days.The good news is that Nova is far healthier than we believed. We’ve had so much support through this process. Not only from our vet, but also from friends and neighbors who have provided us with items we needed for her care that we were unable to purchase for a multitude of reasons.
These are indeed difficult and stressful times. But we are not alone. We not only have ties to our biological families who may living far away, but also to those in our community who are helping us get through this. Both are our families of the heart.