Sunday, April 12, 2020

Grief and Easter in the time of a Pandemic



LUCY BURDETTEOne day last week I woke up feeling horribly, deeply homesick. Although this is the time when we would ordinarily be thinking about going north for the summer, I realized that this choking sense of homesickness was not about a place, it was for the life I had before the coronavirus got a strangle hold on our world. I was feeling grief for all the things that contribute to my sense of home and purpose and well-being. 

With Easter coming up, I feel sad to miss one of my favorite services of the year– held on the beach at the Southernmost Beach resort and led by our MCC Pastor Steve Torrence. There is nothing much prettier or more hopeful than arriving in the dark and watching the sun come up with 150 other people, who are all searching for meaning. 



Of course that won’t be possible this year--one of the many bits and pieces of life that has been stripped away by the pandemic. I miss little things like walking into Books and Books or the Key West Island bookstore and browsing. Walking into Fausto’s grocery store and perusing the cheese display, without a mask on or a wad of Clorox soaked-paper towels in my pocket. No more joyous activity on the streets of Key West (a mixed blessing, as we don’t always appreciate the rude tourists and bad singing and too much drinking.) 

And trips and visits that we had planned over the summer – we won’t be going to see a show in New York City, we won’t most likely see our grandchildren in July, our friends from Key West will most likely not be visiting us as planned. Nor will I see where my great grandmother grew up in Ireland. Or visit my uncle in Michigan, who's in his nineties. 

On the other hand, I know I’m lucky. I don't live in a poor country, or in a prison, or in a nursing home. We have not been sick, our family is well, we have not lost jobs or livelihood. (And I'm trying not to parse out what is going to happen to the publishing industry and bookselling in the next couple of years.) 

I've done some reading about what psychologists are saying about grief and this virus. Not only are we are all facing individual losses, we are also losing our sense of the world around as being predictable, or just, or under our control. It helps, psychologists say, to realize that grief is a natural reaction to loss, but that most people are resilient and able to rebound. It helps to name the losses but also to recognize what strengths we’ve turned to when facing troubles in the past that we might be able to use today.


So I'm exercising quite a bit--yoga and walking--because when this improves and things get better, I want to be strong and full of energy. I'm writing the best I can because as above, when the world stops spinning so crazily, I want to be ready. I'm watching services on Facebook from both our Key West and Connecticut churches. Of course you know I'm cooking a lot and eating very well. And I'm staying in touch with people I love because I know that helps when the world looks dark. And I'm trying to notice signs of hope, signs of spring, signs of Easter. There are a lot of smart people working so hard to figure this out--I am choosing to believe they can do it. And that we can be our kindest, most grace-filled selves until that happens. (If you think I'm demented about the brilliant people, try watching an interview with Bill Gates.) 

That's it from me, Reds--here's hoping for some Easter glimmers in your lives too...we are all so grateful to have this community. How are you doing?




84 comments:

  1. Happy Easter!

    I'm doing okay, although the isolation is beginning to get to me a little. It should help that I'm going to be visiting with my family via Zoom for Easter.

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    1. I’m glad you are going to visit with your family Mark! I can imagine that living alone would make this even harder

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  2. Happy Easter / Happy Passover to everyone who celebrates . . . .

    It feels very strange knowing it is Easter and we’re missing Easter services together with our church family. Realizing I can’t just jump in the car and head to the Hallmark store makes me sad. Ditto the bookshop. And no visiting with the grandbabies. ;(

    But, as you say, Lucy, we are well. And that is everything. Knowing that this will be over [eventually] does help a bit. I fumble around trying to figure out Facebook Live to watch services [and Julia and Jenn the other evening], I tend the flowers, I look at the stars at night.

    I hope everyone is well . . . do take care.

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    1. Take care Joan! You are such a family person that I suspect this time without them is very difficult. Happy

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  3. I'm doing fine here I guess. Not much has changed from what I've said in other pandemic related posts. I get up, clean up, get some minor housework done and then I try to read for review, write a music article or listen to music and watch TV.

    I'm bummed that I can't go out to do more things. Officially, two concerts and 4 book signings are cancelled for me thus far. But a concert on June 5th seems doubtful as does one on June 20th.

    I'm seeing more places cancel stuff up to July now. Thrillerfest has been cancelled and even though I wasn't going, it is still a bummer.

    I'm not a kid or religious so Easter doesn't hold much appeal for me really but I know quite a number of people who will be missing their usual Easter activities.

    But I'm happy that I'm not sick and that the unemployment came through so I've got money coming in (so I can send it back out to pay bills).

    A CD I ordered came in and I ordered a book today so new entertainment will be going on too.

    Overall, I guess I can't complain too much...at least not right now.

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    1. It is hard to see things being canceled out further into the summer! Take care Jay

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  4. Be careful w/ the chlorox; it's potent and bad for your lungs! Happy Easter.

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  5. First year in decades that we won't be at Mass today and haven't been for the past Holy Week. But we did have fish on Lenten Fridays. Life has changed so much.

    In addition to the plague, we spent four months watching our neighbor die from complications due to a fall, broken femur, several readmissions to hospital and rehab, and finally, in mid February, to hospice in the home. With me as the case manager because someone had to do it.

    It was so difficult, our patient being one moment loving and the next recalcitrant, his poor wife, in the beginning stages of Alzheimer's dementia, and needing daily, almost hourly, explanations of what was happening, his loving daughter sleeping hardly at all, on call 24/7 to give the morphine and Ativan that was required to keep him comfortable.

    And then the late night calls to me, the neighborhood nurse in residence, to come across the driveway and assess and intervene and evaluate and explain and weep with them all.

    So the plague on top of this is unconscionable! Egregious! Damned unnecessary! Whatever happened to locusts for heaven's sake? Locusts would be welcome about now. Anything but this awful disease that is killing so many, that has us tucked away inside our own four walls, so enervating.

    And today. A major holiday that is usually filled with friends and family and food, sunshine and flowers and new beginnings.

    "This is the day the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it." - Psalm 118:24

    But something went wrong this year.















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    1. Somethings sure did go wrong! you were an angel for your neighbors, Ann!

      And PS, don’t call for the locusts! We saw on the news this week that the locusts have descended on East Africa and are now wiping out their crops

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    2. Oh my Lucy, I had no idea. Mother Nature is truly pissed

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  6. I am not Christian or Catholic so Easter does not have the same significance as it does for many.

    Still sick with COVID-19 cough and fatigue 3 weeks+ in. But I am seeing a gradual improvement, so I am hopeful that I will be free of the self-isolation/quarantine soon. And hopefully feel better for a few weeks before seasonal allergies kick in.

    I miss my long daily walks alone or with my walking/hiking groups. All our local and provincial parks are closed anyways but still I am looking forward to be able to just walk around my neighbourhood.

    I am happy to have dusted off my cookbooks and trying long-forgotten and new recipes. My chest freezer is full so I actually would not have to cook anything for a few months but this activity is keeping me busy.

    I am grateful for streaming services offering long (90-day free trials) so I can binge-watch some TV shows I have wanting to try...I have had no cable TV for over 3 years, so this is a treat.

    I can also usually find some online musical or theatrical performance to put a smile on my face for the day.

    And, of course, keeping in touch with the online mystery fiction community has been great. Virtual book launches, virtual noir at the bar events, mystery blogs have been fun to participate in.

    JRW rocks and I am glad that I decided to start posting again (daily).
    Thanks for your support. Now if I could only get my reading mojo back, that would be one sign of normalcy back in my life.

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    1. Very glad you are feeling a little bit better Grace! You will be walking just in time for spring in your neck of the woods, right? We’re glad you’re here

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    2. So pleased you are recovering, dear Grace! Don’t push yourself, take it easy easy easy, and we are all here eager to hear about your progress. love you so much.

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    3. Besides the walks and being able to go outside, signs of spring are slowly appearing here in Ottawa. Although all festivals and outdoor events are cancelled here until June 30, you can't stop Mother Nature. With over 1 million tulips planted, these beautiful flowers will bloom here in May although the huge crowds (over 750,000 visitors) will not crowd together to see them in person.

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    4. Hank, I am signed up for tomorrow's Noir at the Bar - Boston edition. Looking forward to seeing you, Edwin, Bruce Coffin and others at this virtual event!

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    5. We will be so thrilled to see you, dear Grace!

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  7. Good Morning: While we no longer celebrate Easter at Nome Street we decided to mark today as a Feast Day. We planned a menu using pantry staples. This morning I am making cinnamon roles using biscuit dough as a base. I have moved away a bit from my reviewing; focusing more on my online Al-Anon Group. I notice more smiles when I do go out, people waving when I am out walking. My Sangha's Facebook bulletin board is filled with pictures of simple things, like the flowers you shared this morning, Lucy/Roberta.

    Grace -- I did not realize you have COVID-19! Oh my. I am adding you to my medical meditation,

    My realization early on was "this is not a ME thing. This is an US thing." This thought has challenged me to move from my introverted shell and reach out to all.

    On a silly note, I do yoga with my cat, Kitsune, while she chases the red dot.

    Glad we have this time together each day. Bowing to all.

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    1. And namaste to you, Coralee! That is such a good approach, to remind ourselves to think about all of us, not only the one we know the best LOL

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    2. So agree! Every time I start to feel sorry for myself, I say: stop stop stop. This is not about you.

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  8. Grace, may your recovery be complete soon! I try to stay positive, but find myself taking more and longer naps now. It helps when there's sunshine. Long walks. Cooking, baking. Reading. A rotation of contacts with my loved ones so I can reassure myself that all is well. That's my biggest paralyzing fear--my family is so large--and watching the numbers of people stricken, the pain this pandemic is causing to families across the world--reminding everyone to stay safe--it really is about all of us doing our part to keep as many people as possible safe. Blessings to all here in the JRW community!

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    1. Hope your family continues to stay well! You are doing all the things you can do to stay sane

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    2. Flora, I am hopeful. I can only say that COVID-19 is stubbornly persistent. One setback last week with the return of a fever, but this week has been better, so I am hopeful that I will continue to recover.

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  9. Happy Easter. We are doing well. Working from home. Missing being close to family, though. But keeping in touch in new ways. Almost finished reading your new book. I love it!

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    1. Thanks Jean! So happy to see you here. I am very glad you are enjoying the key lime crime!

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  10. I'm doing well and am grateful for all the goodness and beauty around me and in the world. Especially grateful for my Reds!

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    1. Glad you are doing well! And we are very glad you’re here

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  11. Thank you dear Lucy/Roberta. This is so perfect and honest and the whole thing is so hard to bear. You are right that we are the last people who should be complaining, and yes I understand that and I know how lucky we are. Yesterday we were talking about Joni Mitchell remember, and I keep thinking of her song:: “don’t it always seem to go that you don’t know what you’ve got till it’s gone.”
    I do think though, that we l knew. We were grateful every day, and I am pleased that I was aware of my good life. But it is such a horrible stew of loss and grief and fear. I think I will go read your essay again.

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  12. Happy Easter to all! Grace, I too had somehow missed that you have COVID-19. Adding you to my daily prayers!

    Singing in a Catholic church choir is my big avocation, so having to go through Holy Week without singing every.single.evening was jarring. Many of the pieces we sing at that time come around only that one time a year, so both spiritually and artistically it has felt like a huge loss.

    My husband and I had a trip to England and Ireland planned for June -- our first ever -- and I am grieving that loss as well. And while blessed to have steady income today, working for a non-profit I fear for the future, as many months of missed fundraising opportunities will eventually catch up. Plus one of my favorite sisters-in-law (Bob has six brothers) just had her stomach, spleen, and part of her pancreas removed to battle cancer.

    But in spite of all these things to grieve and worry about, today is Easter and I have a lifetime of associating this day with joy. I am blessed to have my husband and son here in the house with me where I can SEE how they are doing. I will watch a streamed Mass from my parish, and my neighborhood will hold a social-distanced prayer vigil standing around the periphery of the neighborhood park later this afternoon. Every day when we walk, we nod and yell greetings to these wonderful neighbors who amaze me with all the ways they find to be there for each other. Life has, overall, been very good to me thus far and I can only believe that even in the midst of plague, that trend will continue.

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    1. I hope so Susan! And I understand completely about the music – it’s a special week for that. Glad to hear that your family is closely gathered around you

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    2. Thank you, Susan. Extra blessings are always appreciated.

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  13. Grace, we’ll all be envying you walking around with all those antibodies...
    Lucy what a lovely thoughtful essay. Thank you for getting me to slow down and think... because I’ve truly been muddling through without much mindfulness.

    I can’t complain... actually I CAN... but Living in the suburbs with more than 1 bathroom and a yard and sidewalks is as good as it gets right now. And a grocery delivery 10 days out👍 And husband playing Words With Friends w our daughter

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    1. Oh my gosh, I hadn’t even thought about antibody envy— That sounds like the title of a short story! Xox

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    2. Antibody envy is something I had not even thought of, Hallie. I am not totally convinced that it will be the case. I saw a news item that 80+ South Koreans who were originally deemed recovered are now sick again with COVID-19. Whether this is because of a relapse or they became reinfected a second time is not sure. There are so many uncertainties about how COVID-19 will evolve/mutate over the course of several waves in each country.

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    3. Hallie, I'm playing Words with Friends with one of my brothers. I'm so missing my real Scrabble group every weeks.

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  14. What a wonderful, thoughtful, blog, Lucy.

    We are all well and healthy here in our part of SW Florida. Like you, I've been doing yoga, running when I can - temps have been sky high for some reason, we expect 90s today. We took steaks from the freezer and will be cooking out later today. I'll be attending Mass at the National Cathedral - online of course.

    Grace, I had no idea you were diagnosed with COVID-19! So glad to hear you are recovering.

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    1. Thanks Kait! It has been hot...Now we can all picture those grilled steaks…

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  15. Lucy , just looking at your pictures gave me great joy. I feel privileged to be retired and healthy and try to cultivate my childlike sense of wonder.
    As everyone, some days are more difficult but I'm working to keep the positive. One day this week ,I felt like having a big hug would be so good but living alone is not a good time for that. Anyway, I voiced my need to relatives and received virtual big hugs ( as I said : privileged ).
    My connection to JRW is most appreciated and I keep everyone in my heart and my mind and wish you a very good day.

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    1. Thank you Danielle we are so happy you’re part of our community!

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  16. If everyone pulls together, we are uniquely placed in 2020 to survive this. Social media has never been so important, don't you think? Roberta, your yearning for normalcy comes through, but your hopeful attitude overcomes it, and gives me hope, as well.

    We are doing okay, so far, despite what I believe has been a recurring battle with at least a mild form of the virus. Enforced rest is not necessarily a bad thing. Some days that's all I can manage. But I'm grateful that it's intermittent, and hope it doesn't get worse.

    However, on the days when I have energy I join my husband in small and large projects around here. He finished the fifth raised bed box the other day, so we will place it as soon as it quits raining, and he'll fill it with soil. Planting starts next week, after our official frost date. Yesterday we took advantage of a nice day to plant a tree and some shrubs, some sorely needed landscaping. We still have SO much to do, but it's beginning to look really nice along the front of the house.

    And I've been cooking, a lot. Or Steve has. He rooted around in the freezer the other day and found six chukar--a small game bird, a gift from a friend--and grilled them with bacon. So good. We'd been saving them for company, but we enjoyed them ourselves. And why not, right? There are people dressing up every day in their old wedding gowns or prom dresses. Might as well get some use out of them.

    My family is going to get together again tonight via Zoom. What would we do without it? I am missing them all, so much, but I'd rather miss them a little now than miss them for eternity.

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    1. Oh Karen, Did not know that you were sick! Glad you are feeling well enough to help your hub get ready for the garden – that’s such a hopeful activity isn’t it? Enjoy your family! And continue to get better XO

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    2. Karen, I know how you feel. It's the continual fatigue that gets me the most, too. I am usually someone with energy from before sunrise and am revved to go all day long, but this virus has certainly cut down my ability to do even the most basic things this past month. I hope this intermittent fatigue will eventually end for you, too. Be well.

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  17. Roberta/Lucy, lovely opening today. Happy Easter to you and your family and to all of our blog friends who celebrate. Happy Passover, too. Gosh, Passover always feels too long but this year it kind of fits in with everything else that seems too long.

    Grace, so good to hear you are getting better.

    Yesterday we spoke about Joni Mitchell's song lyrics but for days I've been thinking about another lyric, "I'm sitting here staring out my window imagining the world has stopped..." A book with mysteries based on those songs would be really something, no?

    And then of course the admonition, "Just because you're so (whatever: hungry, angry, in love) doesn't mean the world is going to stop.

    Every day since I met my husband, 40 years ago, I have taken a moment for reflection and thanks. Life doesn't always give you gifts. I am grateful that I have someone to share these moments with. I am also grateful when I look at the sky and see how diminished pollution is, and in photos from around the world, too.

    I have read many of your books this past month, dear Reds, so please don't stop writing. Your stories have buoyed my moods. Now, I hope to get back to exercise, like Lucy, so when this is over I can still move in all directions and I won't look like the Goodyear blimp.

    Stay safe and well.

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    1. I hear you on the blimp, Judy, we are all going to be a little “fluffy.” That is one thing that is amazing – the reduction in pollution. Can we please please learn something from this??

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  18. Beautifully said, Lucy. Thank you. Your post made me smile and cry a little, which I think has been how it's been for me. I'm very grateful for family, friends and health. I have a job that allows me to work at home, so there will not be any loss of income. I am able to walk in beautiful spots on any day that the weather cooperates, and read good books, and spend time on good websites like this one, with a smart and caring community.

    I do feel sad I will not be able to visit my almost eighty-six year old mother anytime soon. (She lives about an 8-hour drive away in a county in Maine that has not had one positive case of COVID-19, so I would not feel right going there and potentially exposing her and others.) I couldn't see my first and only (so far!) grandbaby on her first birthday three days ago or on Easter today.

    When all this happened, I had just started a new position at work and now I'm trying to learn that job as well as adjust to working at home. I do feel somewhat cheated out of the training I would have had if we were in the office. But I also feel lucky that I have a very supportive supervisor and unit-mates.

    It's such a time of mixed blessings. I try to get out every day and walk and appreciate having my son and daughter here. The good things definitely outweigh the sadness.

    Happy Easter to those who celebrate, and have a wonderful day to those who do not!

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    1. Thank you Mary! Mixed blessings sums it up pretty well… Stay well

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  19. Easter is always hard for me. Despite it's hopeful message, I'm always sad because I miss the loved ones who are no longer with us. This year is extra hard, not just because of COVID-19, but because in the past year I have been diagnosed with two life-changing diseases: Celiac Disease (an autoimmune disease that affects your whole body, not just your ability to eat gluten) and Fibromyalgia (a pain disease). I'm trying to focus on happy memories of my family, to be thankful for Jesus, and praying that some day life will be normal again.

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    1. Oh Cathy, we will keep you in our thoughts and hope you have a lot more days of feeling better

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  20. This is always a time of reflection for me. My husband's family is Slovak and Byzantine Catholic which means that Easter when my mother-in-law was alive meant decorating Pysanky Eggs on Good Friday afternoon. Holy Saturday began at dawn mixing the bread dough and over 40 years I became good at making the braids and birds to top the bread. The egg cheese was the most difficult - that stuff is really hot when you're trying to twist the cheesecloth to get the water out - many burned palms over the years. The best part was putting together the food in the basket which was taken to church to be blessed and then the whole family sitting down to brunch on Sunday after church to enjoy the fruits of our labor. For many years after she passed away, my husband helped me to make everything so we could carry on the traditions for our family. Now that he's gone, I've stopped doing it. Both of my daughter's still enjoy making the Easter Bread.

    I find that we don't fully appreciate our families and the traditions until something like this happens. While I will miss getting together with my children and grandchildren this year, I am so grateful for them and the loving care they have shown me making sure I have what I need so I don't have to mingle with the people in stores who have no clue what 6ft distancing means. I am grateful for all the delivery people.

    I grieve for those who have contracted this disease and those who have succumbed to it and I pray for the first responders and all healthcare workers putting their lives on the line.

    Most of all I remind myself every day to count my blessings and concentrate on those. A little prayer I've had on my refrigerator for years so I see it every morning helps to put it all in perspective. It says "Lord help me to remember that nothing is going to happen to me today that together You and I can't handle."

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    1. Thank you for your lovely thoughts. And I absolutely loved your description of Easter preparations with your husband’s family. Those are priceless!

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  21. This is the first Easter weekend in 20 years that we have not been at the cottage on Lake Winnipeg. It's normally a glorious time up there, out of the city, seeing spring slowly seep into the landscape. This year, we're in the city and, all things considered, I'm not unhappy. I hit a wall on Friday, was just thoroughly fed up with all the restrictions of social isolation, but woke on Saturday, baked a loaf of no-yeast bread, went for a brisk walk in the late afternoon and heaved myself over that wall. Thank goodness. Today, it's Sunday, the sun is shining and I'm back to just getting on. Phew. Talk about ups and downs! Take care, everyone.

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    1. We all need the strength to heave ourselves over those walls as often as they come! Thanks for being a role model

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  22. Happy Easter! Give thanks for all of the medical professionals who are working to keep us safe. For authors like Lucy who help us escape for a few minutes or hours from the daily news, we thank you for your craft. Keep safe everyone.

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    1. Absolutely thanks to all the medical people, and people working in stores, and so many other heroes! thanks for stopping in with the Reds this morning!

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  23. Just wanted to say "Thank you" for this post. It helps. Happy Easter and know that next year you will be back on the beach at sunrise.

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  24. Lucy, thank you for your lovely post. Feeling gratitude right now for the same reasons you mentioned in your post. Wishing you and your family Happy Easter!

    Diana

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  25. Streamed our church service on Zoom this morning before getting Easter dinner (roast chicken) in the oven.

    Our priest had a thought provoking message in his sermon: the first Easter was not unlike the one we're all experiencing now. It was just a couple of women together, scared, grieving, with no idea what was going to happen next or what the world was going to look like for them in the coming days. And then they get a message - Jesus has gone ahead, and will meet them in Galilee. Galilee, his home and the home of the disciples.

    Hope has gone ahead, and will met you at home. Hope is where you come from, in your community and town.

    I've been thinking about it ever since, because it dies make me feel hopeful. Glad to share it here. Happy Easter, all!

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    1. Thank you for sharing this. Happy Easter to you and your family and to all the Jungle Reds and the Jungle Red blog family. Whatever your faith, may you draw comfort today knowing that this will have an end and there will be a normal on the other side of it.

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  26. " Next year in Jerusalem."

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    1. You decide what your "Jerusalem" is.

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    2. That is lovely, Julia. Thank you for sharing.

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  27. Robin Coxon are you here? You are the winner of Grace Topping’s book! Lucky Lucky you… email me your address! Hryan at whdh dot com
    YAY!

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    1. You might want to try that email address one more time. Heh heh

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  28. Thank goodness for books and reading! . . . and while others have it worse, (my niece and other nurses on the C-19 ward are staying together in a rented house to avoid carrying risk home to families),we can still mourn what we miss.
    Last year we had an egg hunt at the Y, with a fun Easter Bunny who danced with the kids.   This year . . . quieter. Find the sweetness and love wherever it hides . . . here's some expressed in cake. The second one reminded me that when Mom drew bunnies, she always drew the back view, with the fluffy tail (and no need to draw the face. Hugs <3  
    http://www.cakewrecks.com/home/2020/4/12/sunday-sweets-finds-meeeeee-some-bunnies-to-love

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  29. Thank you for the beautiful and thoughtful essay, Roberta. You expressed so well what most of us are feeling, homesick for our "normal" lives, anxious because of the uncertainly of our new reality. Today seems like a day to focus on hope and gratitude. We can do this!

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  30. Thank you, Jungle Red Writers! Your posts are required reading for me every day.

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  31. These are strange days. We go on our neighborhood walks, keeping our distance from others. It probably resembles a video game from above with people making abrupt 90 degree turns off sidewalks to the street to avoid head ons. And doing so with a smile or a joke.
    My husband and I are enjoying an empty nest for the first time in years. Our son will return next month when he finishes boot camp. He’s been writing us about the differences from when he was in basic in 1999 and now. No hand to hand fighting. Keeping two arm lengths apart. Frustrated drill seargents who can’t get in your face and yell.
    Our other absent person is our granddaughter. She went home to Ohio to visit her mom and got stuck there. Her culinary school is on hold too. She’s been watching baking lessons on the school website, and trying out the recipes. School is shooting for next month to reopen. We’ll see. I feel so bad for everyone whose education and jobs have been put on hold.
    We are so lucky to be retired and financially stable. I’m suffering from itchy feet. I want to hit the road so bad! With everyone’s stories being different and similar at the same time my mantra these days comes from Dory the fish: Just keep swimming. And I’m sending positive thoughts to all of you who aren’t up to snuff. Happy Easter everyone!

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  32. Fabulous post, Lucy. Grateful for the Reds today and every day, but especially during this past month of worry and stress. There is so much good still out there. I read a great article about how this is our opportunity to reboot the world and not get caught up in the business and government's upcoming media blitz to go back to normal - normal didn't work for so many reasons - let's take this moment in history to fix it!
    Here it is: https://forge.medium.com/prepare-for-the-ultimate-gaslighting-6a8ce3f0a0e0
    I wish you all a peaceful beautiful day. XO

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  33. Happy Easter and good wishes for better health for all. I'm doing well, reading, watching TV, on the computer, cooking, baking, gardening. I do some housework but found after the first week that if I did it every day, it felt like punishment. Normally I would be having lunch with friends or doing errands, so not too much housework. Grokker has been having free videos until next Sunday so I have been exercising most days. Take care.

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    1. Sally, I had to schedule the housecleaning on my calendar. It was the only way it wasn't going to drive me nuts every day!

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  34. Happy Easter from central Pennsylvania! We listened to worship with our middle son and his family who we aren’t socially distancing from. So our little group of 8 gathered around the radio and it suddenly brought back memories of my birth family listening to the radio during family meals. Then my brain wandered back to WWII and people listening to Churchill, de Gaulle and Roosevelt around the “wireless.” Certainly something we’ll all remember forever.

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  35. Easter without helping with the 24 small flower arrangements for the candle sconces around the church, without arranging potted lillys around the altar and lectern, without making the arrangement for the Pascal candle. I'm honest enough with myself to say this sucks. Easter weekend is my altar guild teams responsibility this year. I was arranging the altar flowers for the first time in years. Selfish, I know but I just rejoined the choir. I was so looking forward to singing Faure's Requiem again. Plus I'm supposed to go to my sister's tomorrow. Selfish, pitiful, guilty. Services on Zoom from our priest's garage is just not the same. On the bright side, I'm not exhausted after completing altar guild duties, my altar team is down to one, uh, that would be me. I know others would step up and help but I tend to take my responsibilities far too seriously for my own good especially on high holy days. And I don't have a massive headache from the blasted incense this year. I turned off my alarm since I'm on vacation. Maybe I'll take a walk further than the laundry room tomorrow. I crocheted a few new Easter eggs, since my larger collection is in storage, that is not an essential outing. I'm going to try one of the blankets I've been working on later this week. Grace, you take it easy, continue your recovery. Karen, don't push out into the world any faster than your body can handle. I hope all have had a peaceful day or days week.

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  36. I haven't been online as much as usual this weekend, but I wanted to stop in here on Easter. Lucy, thank you for your beautiful post and beautiful Easter pics. And, I'm comforted by so many others here with their messages of hope and persevering. My husband and I usually get together with my MIL and daughter's family for an Easter dinner, but, of course, we couldn't do that this year. But, since my 91 year old MIL lives alone, I thought I'd make the effort to have an Easter dinner, rather a different one than usual. I fixed a new dish, cheesy chicken breasts, in the oven, tiny golden potatoes in their jackets, lima beans in a cream sauce, and rolls. I sent a large dish of it over to MIL via husband, and she had it for lunch and supper. I was happy that she enjoyed it, and it made all three of our Easter a bit better.

    My ten-year-old granddaughter called me this afternoon for a video chat in which I talked to my daughter, too, so that was a lovely Easter call. Then, my son called me tonight to wish me a Happy Easter and to check on us, so it was a decent Easter after all. I even have some Easter chocolate to soothe my soul.

    Grace, you have been in my prayers and continue to be. I'm glad you so much better and hope you are completely recovered soon. Karen, I didn't realize you were sick, and I will add you to my prayers. I had a bad night last night with my breathing, similar to problems I had a years ago, and it's scary when all you can think is that it's probably the corona virus. I don't think it is, probably just panic attack, but I did take a 2 1/2 nap late this afternoon. I'll watch and see, but I do think the fear of having breathing trouble is half the problem.

    I do hope some of you read my late comments today. I hope you all have had a pleasant day and are finding the balance you need to cope now.

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    1. Hi Kathy. Naps are good. Your dinner sounds great, Gooey cheese - always a hit in my family growing up. I hope your breathing evens out and you feel stronger quickly. Deana

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    2. Thank you, Deana for the nice things you said and for responding to my comments. It made me feel not so alone tonight.

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    3. Belated thanks to Deana and Kathy for chiming in here--these are such strange and trying times, and hearing from all of you--knowing you're out there--helps a lot!

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