I’m so mad at the memories you stole from me. Kindergarten graduation. Baseball games. Taking my oldest to spring training. A 14-day road trip. Afternoons at the movie theater. Friday nights at our favorite Mexican restaurant. In-person school. Date nights with my husband. Time alone.
Yet, I am grateful for the memories I never would have had without you.
Virtual yoga. Online games with friends. Sweet Zoom interactions. Puzzles upon puzzles. Learning to love family outdoor adventures. Porch surprises. Hiking in the snow. So many nights on our patio.
I’m so mad that you broke my community.
Whether it was politics, differences in approaching COVID safety or racism that broke my relationships, I have never outgrown so many friendships so quickly.
Yet, I’m grateful you forced me to let go. Because what I found is what I needed. A stronger community that is passionate about the things I am. Friends who boldly shouldered my pain and let me carry theirs. Women I had wished for, for so long. It took your drama of you to help me find them.
I’m so mad that you not only brought illness and death, but you also tested us with blatant racism and a painful election season. You just didn’t know when to stop. It was too much for one year. You broke us over and over and over.
Yet, I’m grateful you pushed me to action. You transformed my values into participation in community protests, hard conversations about privilege with my children, the formation of an advocacy group, utilizing my platform for activism, postcard writing, and phone banking.
I really thought as I entered the holiday season, that I would be able to reflect on your time in my life with more gratitude than sadness. But the disappointments piled up in a way that seemed something only you could do. The last six weeks have beaten me down, tested my spirit and enveloped me with anxiety, grief and anger. And looking to the first three months of 2021, I don’t see you leaving without a fight.
I’m so mad at you for hitting us from all sides.
Yet, I’m grateful because I know I can not only do hard things – I can do the hardest things over and over again.
With both anger and gratitude,