Today, March 31st, 2020 is the last day I’m participating in Two Writing Teachers’ Slice of Life Story Challenge. I am sad.
As I sit in front of my white screen, I think of the past 31 days, and all the things I didn’t do, or I should have done right in terms of getting my writing done earlier or write better slices, instead of been teetering on the edge of producing whatever came to my mind at the last moment. I wish I had been more hopeful, funnier , or less mono-thematic. I caught myself censoring lots of my writing because I was gloomy or dark. I wish I had been more consistent with my comments in other slices. I wish I had followed the journey of at least one person the entire month. Instead, I just clicked randomly on the hyperlinks that were in front of me. To be fair with myself though, I really wanted to expand my horizons, and read more people, and not just get caught with the one that I already follow and like. Despite all my wishes not getting fulfilled, it’s still one challenge for the book that we will never forget, and will remain in our blogs as a testimony of a very important and literally, life changing period in the history of humanity.
I don’t want to finish the challenge without posting a slice I wanted to write since the COVID-19 crisis started, and the stay home saves lives campaign was imminent in my state.
February 14, 2020, my daughter sent to our family group chat a screenshot of my husband’s Facebook prediction about the coronavirus. We all laugh and made fun of him, to the point that he felt bad and took the post down. Still, he was really concerned that nobody was taking it seriously. A month later in the same group chat we were telling him that he was a visionary, just on the footsteps of Bill Gates.
Fortunately, the virus hasn’t taken any lives in our community yet. But it has in many others, so we are following the governor’s mandates of stay home saves lives very serious. The last month has been a roller coaster month and without my quarantine buddy, Steve, I wouldn’t have been able to survive.
First of all, he is the first and sometimes only one to like my slices, and even though he seldom writes me a comment on the blog, he always makes sure to tell me something in person. He is always reassuring and positive which has been crucial.
Being positive. That’s one of the thing that made me fall in love with him. His laugh, his way of seeing the positive side on things and people (despite his apocalyptic prediction a month and a half ago). Latinamericans like me (or maybe it’s just my family) have a tendency to see the dark side of things, so having him around has been a pivotal part of my growth as a person, and to certain degree his positivism has been contagious.
During this month, I was giving him hugs and words of reassurance when he saw his online business in Amazon going downhill since what he sells is considered non-essential. Like many people that have been laid off, it’s hard when they tell you that what you do for living and on top, you love to do, it’s not essential. Despite everything, he still is working alone in his warehouse, preparing his beloved Spanish hand painted ceramics and extra virgin olive oil in boxes to be ready to be shipped as soon as Amazon let him do it. He is also helping once a week in a Food Bank picking up the food that it’s distributed to people every Wednesday, and with some construction work they needed in the Food Bank facility. He donated a bunch of Olive Oil to the Food Bank, and people are really enjoying that treat.
He tried to lure me to go and help him with the packaging at his warehouse. I have done it three or four times, but the weather hasn’t contributed too much. It’s still very cold, and the last time I had such a migraine.that I am more incline to be a couch potato. Some days though at home, I feel I haven’t done anything since I just talked to people over the phone and wrote emails. I need to keep reminding my self that that’s been productive also, and my quarantine buddy knows that.
When we worked together in his warehouse we didn’t talk too much. He just gave me some instructions about what I needed to pack and he went to his computer to fulfill two or three orders and off to build some shelves for his packing materials. He put classical music and we worked for six hours shoulder to shoulder. Those days I felt such a synchronicity with him and my heart full of gratitude for having him to my side.
Now, at the end of the month of March, even though sometimes I feel like Gertrude, and want to start knitting a scarf for my husband, I can’t be luckier. My quarantine buddy has the healthy doses of listening capabilities, the strength that I need when I feel weak, and the tenderness and kindness when I am in need of a real hug. On top of that, he is a fabulous cook and we have Spanish extra virgin olive oil for life.
A couple of days before my wedding, I told my mom that marriage was like a lottery ticket. She told me: Yes, but you know if your are getting the winning ticket.
She was absolutely right.