Living through this pandemic has obviously been super surreal and challenging on many fronts. Life has changed, we can’t safely do a lot of the things we used to take for granted, and we’re continuing to have to learn to accept a new normal that may hang around for quite a while.
Because so many of us don’t leave the house all that much anymore, it can feel extra strange to walk around with all this fear and angst, and see all the coverage of case spikes around the country, when we don’t have a direct connection to it.
I remember early on hearing it said that by the time this is all over, all of us will know someone who struggled with COVID. And certainly, I do know a few friends, former colleagues and acquaintances who have either themselves had it or are close to someone who has. But my own inner circle has remained relatively untouched. That is, until now.
On Friday I found out my Dad has tested positive for COVID. My Mom called to tell me that he hadn’t been feeling well early in the week, so the whole family got tested. Thankfully, results came back within a few days and everyone else was negative, but Dad’s test came back positive.
She explained that he isn’t feeling well, but is doing reasonably well, and is quarantining upstairs in the house while she is staying secluded downtsatirs. Everyone who has been around him is taking proper quarantine precautions and we are all hoping for the best right now.
We saw Dad a little over a month ago when we made a visit to Wisconsin.
He has been taking reasonable precautions since the beginning of the pandemic, but we all know that this virus finds ways to get around and sometimes even people taking the strictest measures can still get sick. So it is a reminder that this thing is still very real and very out there, so we all need to keep our guard up.
I spoke to Dad and I’m glad to say he is in good spirits. He is having some rough flu-like symptoms and fever, but so far is hanging in there well. He is probably the strongest person I know, spiritually and physically, so I feel confident he will come through his A-OK. But still, it does really bring things into sharp focus when this virus hits so close to home.
So now, like so many people all around the world right now, we wait. I hope and pray that he recovers smoothly and that no one else in the family gets sick. So I am definitely accepting any and all thoughts and prayers for my Dad’s recovery and the overall health and safety of all my family back in Wisconsin.
And it’s another powerful reminder of who, what and where the important things are. Easy as it is to get caught up in the stressful madness of day to day life, it’s important to remember that those we love are the most important thing, so dammit, keep that in the front of your mind and tell them how important they are every chance you get.
I spent a good lot of the day processing this news and later on we all gave Dad a call together as a family. He sounded good and told Amelia that her well wishes helped make him feel better, and called her “Dr. Amelia.”
We let Dad get back to resting, and we had a nice evening together as a family. We even played a little baseball in the backyard. Amelia cracked a couple dingers and almost landed one in the neighbor’s yard. She is getting pretty good. And Henry is starting to throw overhand pretty well. Amelia also informed us that she might like to be a sportscaster when she grows up. I could definitely see that.
Some of my fondest memories as a little kid were playing baseball with my Dad, and I think of him every time I pitch that ball. Dad is a positive person with tremendous faith in the good that exists in life and in other people. When we talked, he focused on the positives that could come from all the challenges we are facing now. Families and people getting closer, even if separated physically. Schools and workplaces learning to do things differently, and maybe discovering ways to do things better.
I do appreciate the ways our kids have grown closer together during all of this, and these special backyard family moments that mean so much in this time and in any time. My Dad always taught me to recognize those things, and as a father myself now, I understand it more than ever. When he gets better, I think I may ask him to throw me a few pitches in the backyard, for old times’ sake.