March 16, 2020. The first day of Ancilla’s spring break. The Coronavirus was really starting to ramp up here, and people were starting to hoard toilet paper. I woke up that morning and was working on my rough draft for Religion and American Culture. My husband came downstairs and looked at me and said, “My Dad is gone.” He had been sick all weekend, but he had been sent home from the hospital. Our world came crashing down as the next 20 hours entailed buying an airline ticket to Mexico and a trip to the passport office in Chicago that took most of the day. We drove back home to pack, go back to the airport, and check-in at 3:30 am to fly to Mexico. With my husband away, I spent the next few days wanting to do nothing but lay in the fetal position in bed. Instead, I had 3 kids to take care of. They were great, understanding, and forgiving. It was one thing after another that week and the next. I kept thinking, REALLY?!?!?! Between e-learning, mourning my father-in-law, my husband’s return flight being canceled and rescheduled twice, finding out we were going to have to move, my husband missing his flight in Mexico City because the pilot left early, and having to buy another ticket forcing him to spend the night in the airport, there was one thing that kept me going and has every day since March 16th…….hope. Let me say that again….HOPE.
Without hope, faith, many prayer warriors, and hope, I would have simply curled up in the fetal position and stayed there until someone found me. These weeks have been very tryingit has been hard to process the realization that I was not going to finish school at school. Finding out that my son, who was so proud that he was going to prom, wasn’t going to prom. That, in many of those days after my father-in-law died, I found it petty and irrelevant that I had to stay in my house and stay away from the world. In a way, I have welcomed this quarantine; on the other hand, I have craved being around others who could make me laugh and forget about all of the sorrow and pain I have felt.
Hope is what keeps me going these days. I hope for an end to this virus; I hope for my mother-in-law to be okay. I hope for my kids not to go mad locked away from the normalcy they have known. My faith in God and my hope for tomorrow are what has been fueling me through these challenging days of online learning. The chaos of my busy life as a college student is something that I miss; I miss seeing all of your smiling faces too. My hope is that all of you are well and hoping also. Don’t let the fear and anxiety ignited by the chaos around you cause you to give up on the hope of what is it come in the months and years to come.