Since the very beginning of the pandemic, we’ve spoken at length every single day, which is more than the norm for us. Usually, we talk about The Unsealed, friends, the news and reality TV shows. Despite being hundreds of miles apart, we’ve managed to be upbeat and very connected.
However, these last few days, I can hear a difference in the tone of your voice. Just like you can read concern and disappointment all over someone’s face, no matter how much you try to conceal it, those same sentiments can reverberate clearly through an iPhone.
Mom, I get it.
In the next six weeks, our family will celebrate Thanksgiving, my birthday, Hanukkah, New Years’ and your birthday, all apart from each other. There will be no political conversation while cutting the turkey. There will be no sneaking away during dinner at a fancy restaurant to tell the waiter to sing me happy birthday and put a candle in my dessert. There will be no hugs or kisses after lighting the menorah and there will be no post-new years bash, surprising you with a present that you will tell us a thousand times that you don’t need.
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This year each celebration will be very different and I know it hurts. Nine months into this pandemic, your primary concern is me being alone for so long. And your biggest disappointment is not being together as a family for holidays like every other year. While I sadly can’t say much to compensate for us not being together, I can tell you and I keep telling you not to be so worried about me being alone.
Since the start of the pandemic, you are not the only person blowing up my phone. From boyfriends I dated back in high school to my college girlfriends to friends I met during my stops in various cities, it seems like every single day someone new is calling to catch up or check in with me.
Also, daily, I converse with members of The Unsealed. Our community consists of people from all over the country with a variety of experiences. Throughout this pandemic, I have been listening, learning and growing from all the unique journeys people have shared with me.
From time to time, I even have had a few friends eat a social-distancing dinner outside, invite me out on a boat, or a walk around my neighborhood with me standing six feet apart.
Of course, there are times by myself that I strongly feel the separation from so many people I love, especially you and dad. After all, I am human. There are a lot of moments I miss. I miss how nervous you get every time we have people over for a festive dinner. I miss hopping on a plane and meeting my friends from all over the country in Miami (before I lived here) or Vegas to celebrate my birthday. I miss counting down the clock on new years and kissing someone at midnight (even if that someone is you). I miss going to the mall and picking out a birthday present for you that I have every intention of borrowing the first chance I get.
But Mom, as much as I miss all those beautiful moments, being separated from you, dad, Andrew and the rest of my friends and family these last nine months has given me the pause and perspective I needed to recognize what I often take for granted. This Thanksgiving, I feel a more profound sense of gratitude for what really is important to me, which is all the love that surrounds me.
Yes, it sucks that we can’t be together this holiday season. But please understand that even though I may be alone for dinner on Thursday, I am incredibly thankful that I am never alone in life.
Mom, stay strong! I will be raiding your closet again soon!
I love you so much,