I think you know what I’m saying, right? *BIG SIGH* This month hasn’t been so much a roller coaster of emotions as I’ve often attributed to the restoration of Sligo. This month has been more than that. It has been a monsoon of emotions…maybe a tsunami? This month has been a very large and destructive force of nature of emotions which I’m sure many of us are feeling right now.
Where were you March 1st? A mere month ago? Personally, I was in Chicago with my mom and one of my sisters. We had gone to see Yo-Yo Ma perform at the Chicago Symphony and it came as a much needed break after Marcus had been on travel for two weeks. On March 1st, I was still planning on flying to Italy with our two girls for spring break in the next few weeks. Marcus would already be there for work and we were going to meet him and have a family adventure. It was during this trip to Chicago that I began to realize our world was about to change.
One by one, travel, school, after-school activities, and work were canceled but still I didn’t worry too much. I only began to slightly panic when Marcus questioned why I hadn’t done a big grocery run. I mean, if Marcus is slightly panicking then I need to be as well. So, I soon found myself shopping two times that week. The first time it wasn’t so bad and there was hardly anyone at the store. The second time, 24 hours later, I went back to the grocery store to pick-up a few things I had forgotten and was soon swept-up into everyone’s panic, purchasing another basket full of groceries. So, in case you weren’t sure, herd mentality is real.
Our girls have taken all of the changes in stride and honestly, they’re so much like their dad, that whatever feelings they are experiencing over this entire event are being tamped down. Marcus and I are doing our best to maintain a sense of a schedule and normalcy. We have split up the day with me “teaching” reading and writing and Marcus taking on science and math. We have also started basic home education lessons such as sorting laundry, cleaning, and baking. The oldest learned how to heat-up a corn dog in the microwave and that’s what she and her little sister lived on one day recently. While I personally can’t stand corn dogs and their lack of nutritional value I can totally get behind the self sufficiency. I’m not saying that it hasn’t taken my entire supply of wine to work through the emotions of being home with the girls all day every day but we’re managing.
Also, during this month, my father-in-law passed away after a two year battle with small cell lung cancer. He left us just a week ago, in a time of such turmoil and uncertainty. I know we all would have been worried about his getting sick with the coronavirus. We had already started distancing ourselves from him and my mother-in-law and for the last two weeks of his life we saw either of them only from a distance.
Ron was one of the best people I will ever know and the following is just a glimpse of that: He championed his sons but frequently sided with us wives; he would terrify yet amuse me when the girls were toddlers by giving them giant Altoids to suck on but I didn’t have the heart to ask him to stop so I would shadow the girls until I knew they were finished; and, as any good grandpa does, he harassed the girls with his “Tickle Monster” and would sing songs at bedtime; he had the biggest laugh and sense of humor; he shared my passion for sweets; we were never sure if the stories he told were true though we think they were at least mostly true; at our very first meeting I remember being embraced in his big, bear hug; and on the day he married Marcus and I he grabbed my face and planted a kiss right on my lips proclaiming “This will be the only time I can do this!”
When Marcus purchased Sligo, Ron was, as all of us were, skeptical to say the least. However, as time went on and progress was made on both Sligo and the Cottage, Ron began to share in the vision and took delight in visiting to see the changes. On Ron’s last day one of the things he said to me as we were saying our goodbyes was how happy he was to see us “snugged up” in Sligo. He was also an avid reader of this blog and encouraged me to keep writing and I’m sorry I didn’t write anything new for him to read in the last few weeks. I’m going to miss him terribly, especially once social distancing has come to an end and we can visit with Marcus’s mom. I think that will be when we really feel his absence.
Finally, the end of the month has brought my birthday. It’s not a “big one” but it’s getting closer and closer to one and I don’t know if I have it in me to accept that. Despite having to maintain social distancing I still had a nice day filled with mimosas and wine and food and honestly, that was pretty close to perfect. It’s a time for growth mentally and possibly physically (“COVID-19” instead of the “Freshmen 15” amiright?!) as we all learn to navigate this new world.