Updated: Jan 11, 2021
After nine months of reflection, digestion, and processing the whirlwind of 2020, I'm able to return to this space to formulate my thoughts into words. This is Part II of The Great Process, a short blog piece that I started last year at the beginning of what would prove to be one of the greatest years of my life on levels of faith, hope, endurance, and prayer. Because I felt a sense of peace during a time of great uncertainty, it was what I sought for comfort. My rock and my foundation, my faith. My silent prayers.
The year of 2020, a year filled with blessings and light despite the storm surge that ravished in the back ground.
There was a beautiful poem that fluttered about in the beginning of 2020 by, it talked about allowing the earth to rest, allowing your body to reset and revisit the things that made you feel healthy and whole. A poem about disconnecting from the outer world in order to connect to your own internal compass.
A beautiful poem that resonated with me by Kitty O'Meara.
The year of 2020 brought so many new challenges, too many to simply describe into words.
I found it difficult to describe while actually going through it and attempting to withstand the strong winds of change. The year was filled with a new virus that was creating fear, turmoil, uncertainty, illness, and loss of lives. The political arena was another tidal wave of tension bringing about the environment of a much divided presidential election. Police brutality, protests, anger, the call for social justice for innocent lives lost, the call for social and racial equality and all under the tent of a global pandemic. Social distancing, unemployment, food banks overwhelmed with people in need, toilet paper shortages, schools closing, virtual learning, working from home, churches required to operate at 50%, along with bars and restaurants. All sporting events cancelled then brought back with required COVID testing and minimal fans or audience. The mental health population would also be impacted as the stress would also create an increase in anxiety and depression. The news became too much to take in, as politics went back and forth and COVID 19 continued to take lives of innocent people in our country and around the world, all we could do, all I could do was pray and breathe.
The beginning of a new year has always been a time of reflection, new hopes, new dreams, new intentions, fresh starts, and goals for what can seem like a plethora of possibilities.
However, this beginning new year was not typical for goal setting as I sit and reflect on the past nine months of 2020.
Its January 2021, we are still in the thick of the global pandemic. Both Pfizer and Moderna have developed vaccines that have proved to be over 95% effective against the virus with first vaccines offered to medical and healthcare providers the week before Christmas. However, the role out was slow and although it was a small shinning light, there was lots of work that still needed to be done. News of people criticizing the short time it took to create the vaccine, people scared of adverse effects, critics creating fear of uncertainty. Again just something else that we would endure and overcome.
I received my vaccine (Pfizer) December 21st, 2020, without hesitation, without fear. For me, this vaccine would serve as a form of a blessing, a small shinning light of hope that things were beginning to positively shift. As a nurse, as healthcare provider, as a caretaker for my community I knew that obtaining this vaccine was my job and part of my professional duty to help and do my part in helping decrease this virus that has taken so many lives, so many families that have suffered, to have to wait at home while your loved one succumbed to the virus in the hospital, alone with no family in sight to just hold your hand and comfort you. One to include my very own sweet aunt, whom we lost in April of 2020. So the vaccine represents so much more. It represents my faith in the medical community to which I proudly work for, my faith in the researchers, the doctors, and scientists whom developed the vaccine, it represents my oath to protect and serve the people I care for. It represents my sweet Aunt, whom I never got to say good bye to. Every year she always managed to remember my birthday, every year she called me to wish me love and health, to tell me that she loved me. I didn't get her phone call September 2020 for my birthday, but I knew she was smiling down from heaven on that day. If I can help in anyway to protect the older community, the immunocompromised, the people suffering from chronic medical conditions, children, and patients with cancer than yes, I say Yes. I proudly received the vaccine.
Professionally things changed for me as well, as I transitioned my family practice clinic to virtual medicine model. All my patients would now be required to discuss their healthcare issues with me in front of a camera. They would have to learn how to download an app, open an email link, disable their camera and microphone settings, all so they can talk to me about their health care needs. My nurses were now teaching my patients how to access their camera/computer settings prior to their visit, making sure phone settings were enabled in order to clearly hear and see me. My ability to ask questions, properly triage and determine if the patients were stable or needed a higher level of care without ever placing my hands or stethoscope on the patient. proved to be another level of care. Communication, the art of listening and the reassurance that I was available for follow up or questions hence any changes. Creating an atmosphere of trust and reliance during a time of fear and unpredictability.
So here we are, January 4th, 2021, four days into this year and I have so much to be thankful for in the year of 2020. The ability to stay focused on gratitude for all things great and small keep me grounded. My health, my family, my job, our home, our lives, the lives of our family, the life of my husband, our sons, my daughter in law, our good friends, for all the prayers answered in 2020, so many things that are just good. In the environment of loss and strife, we turned to each other, we turned to our faith, we turned to lots of prayer. We cooked more, we enjoyed Sunday dinners with our young adult sons and daughter in law, we rested, we walked, we swam, we talked, we connected deeper to each other. I prayed alone, we prayed as a family. I learned to pray the entire rosary, my husband and I attempted at home dance lessons, we made tea in fancy tea pots, we sat outside, I read books, I journaled my inner most thoughts and feelings, I practiced meditation, I tapped into yoga, I attempted teaching yoga online for 2 months, I filled 4 birdfeeders, to just sit and watch them eat, we visited the mountains, we met my little brother and his wife and kids at the ocean, we cooked and enjoyed Peruvian foods with my dad. We all prayed together. I prayed harder than I ever have in my life for so many things; for health, for wellness, for protection, for our family, for our friends and for those suffering. Consequently with those prayers came a sense of peace and hope that no matter what was happening or what had happened, everything was going to be good in my family, in my community, and in the world.
There is always light in the darkness, I believe it, I see it, and I can feel it, sometimes you just have to look up to notice. Prayers of hope, goodness and faith for 2021.