If It Weren’t for This

In 2020, life’s door came down with a kick. Without a phone call, a text, or an email the intruder took certainty and stability away. It took away a picture perfect finish to a school year. We would have finished the school year watching students draped in graduation gowns move their tassels from one side of their hats to the other and throw them in the air as the class of 2020.

Twenty twenty’s graduation class was special to me because four years ago I started working at Jordan High School (Long Beach, CA) when 2020’s graduating class were freshmen and freshwomen.

Also, it took my summer which would have started off with swim lessons and dance recitals, and it would have finished with a vacation in Lake Tahoe where I would have spent time on boats and jet skis, playing card and board games, and sitting around bond fires engaging in meaningful talks with people I love. If it weren’t for this, this, this Covid thing, life would have been much different.

Well, I can go on for hours about what things would have been like if Covid had not come unannounced. But, honestly, what good would it do to complain about life and to focus on uncontrollable events? If it were not for this Covid thing, I would not have learned how to take from life what it gives me. I would have been stuck in the rut of imposing my will on life rather than learning to adjust to what life serves me.   

If it weren’t for this I would not have felt suffocating stress and taken that stress out on my little girl shouting from our attached garage into our house, “Get out here Lily it’s time for us to go outside. I’ve waited for you to come outside for far too long. I told you about 15 minutes ago it’s time for you to get your butt out here, little girl.” 

“I was in the restroom daddy. I was combing my hair trying to get ready to come out,” she snapped back storming out of the house to meet me for our regular basketball and bonding time. 

If it weren’t for this, there would be no regular basketball and bonding time. We would have been consumed chasing other things. If it wasn’t for this, we wouldn’t have months of family time together to bond while playing basketball, reading books, swimming, playing chess, running, working out, baking, cooking, camping out, and on and on and on it goes. 

“You don’t talk to me like that coming outside slamming my doors.” I said doubling down sounding just like my parents. Feeling her own stresses from this, she broke down crying trying to explain to me her feelings and emotions as best as a seven-year-old could. As she talked she sat down on the base of our portable basketball hoop, the place where water goes so the hoop doesn’t tip over. 

If it weren’t for this, I would not have taken the time to sit next to her and listen. I listened. I listened not to hear her words but to hear her heart. If it weren’t for this I would not have listened to the feelings behind the words with such an open heart. Her words expressing her heart pierced my heart.

If it weren’t for this, she wouldn’t have been in tears. If it weren’t for this, I wouldn’t have been sitting with a tear soaked face too as I sat side by side with her in our front yard at the base of the basketball hoop. If it weren’t for this, the world would not have faded away leaving me only with my concern for my daughter’s heartache. If it weren’t for this, we would not have bonded to share our hearts so openly through tears and words. If it weren’t for this moving moment, and others like it, would not have come to pass.  

I have learned to see this virus as more than just a robber. My heartaches for all the financial, emotional, and physical suffering Covid has initiated, but I am thankful that occasionally, when I am at my best, I use the challenging moments to grow in understanding of Self and the world. If It weren’t for this, I would not have learned how to take from life what it gives me. If it weren’t for this, I would not have been so convinced that making the best out of what I have is not just a catch phrase, rather it is the best lifestyle for me. If it weren’t for this, I would have been stuck in the rut of imposing my will on life rather than quieting myself long enough to learn to adjust and to make the very best out of whatever life serves me. 

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