The bulbs we planted, yellow daffodils and purple crocus, are in bloom. They mark the spot where I hoped my daughter would be standing in her long white dress next to her betrothed, exchanging vows. It’s not going to happen—this spring. They are still in love but there’s a virus on the loose, interrupting life as we know it. The schools, bars, restaurants, gyms, theaters in Maryland have all shut down. Gatherings of more than fifty are forbidden. If you do gather—everyone should stand at least six feet apart.
My two sons tell me this may last an entire year. No one knows for certain. Optimists expect things will get better in a few months. Maybe. Today I set up a makeshift exercise area in my living room and listened to music as I went through the series of mat Pilates exercises I remember. I tried inventing a few new ones, challenging myself to work harder before moving to the computer to write. I thought I would be taking a break from revising my novel, with my long wedding to-do list, but now I have plenty of free time on my hands to work at my craft. Such is the new normal here in Annapolis.
“I don’t think we’ll be open tomorrow,” says the server at the coffee shop. “With no one allowed to sit down, we’ve had few customers. The owners plan to close.”
No job, I think. Another lay off. What will she do for income until the shop reopens?
So many people are being impacted in different ways, the change of plans with my daughter’s wedding—a big family event—seems trivial. Yes, we were looking forward with pleasure to all our children, including my oldest son and his family who live in Indonesia, being present to witness the event. And yes, I spent hours contemplating food choices, music, décor—but there are people fighting for their lives and others struggling to pay their bills.
On my daily walks, I try to stay a respectable distance away from my neighbors while still smiling and saying hello. I wonder how long they’ll have to wait, my daughter and her fiancé, to have their big party. It will be joyous when it happens, flowers blooming or not, and we’ll have so much more to celebrate! But until then, my wish for all the world is to stay safe. Resist the temptation to be selfish. Be kind.
In Brighter Times
Photo taken just after Josh proposed to Alex last year.