Thursday, March 19, 2020

Bert woke up this morning at 7 a.m. as he usually does. Joe went in to pick him up and change him as I began to prepare to feed him. Although Bert wakes up happy, he usually starts crying pretty soon after when his brain catches up with his stomach and he realizes he's starving. As he does, Bert started crying as Joe was changing his diaper, and I heard Joe say, "Buddy, you don't have to cry. We've never let you down."

And I stopped in my tracks because ... Joe is a father reassuring his child that he doesn't have to cry because he's never let him down. And I immediately thought: this is exactly what God is saying to us right now, too.

I admit that I have been rather calm about all this, until yesterday when news began to come out that said that the virus may be more harmful to children than previously believed, specifically to babies and toddlers. Most of you know that my son was born with several health complications that landed him in the children's hospital for several days, and my mind immediately went to seeing my son suffer once again. I had to actively remind myself that God has taken care of my son before, and I have no reason to believe He won't this time, too: He's never let us down.

One of the strangest things about all of this is the lack of Mass. My grandfather, the oldest member of our family, is almost 90, and he has never seen this in his lifetime. As of yesterday evening, there are NO public masses anywhere in the United States. None. I said to Joe last night: did you ever think that here in the United States of America we wouldn't be able to go to Mass? It's so unthinkable that it's laughable. But here we are.

We were blessed this morning because our wonderful parish priest, Father Jack, said a Mass that was broadcast on Facebook Live. Joe, Bert, and I sat on our kitchen stools participating with Father Jack as we watched him on our laptop. Father Jack said something that really struck me. He said that God is using the situation we are in to give us a glimpse of what hell is like. Hell is total physical isolation from God and others; it's the ultimate social distancing. And don't we all hate this? As Father Jack also said, we are made for community and family and this is our time to look at all the things in our lives that we take for granted and begin to show our gratitude for them.

And it really made me think because according to Sister Lucia, one of the Fatima children, the final battle between God and Satan will be over marriage and the family. I think we could all agree that we are having marriage and family problems in the world right now. How else could God shift our focus back to our families and force us to really spend time with them than through a situation like this?

I realized this morning that it's Spring. SPRING. What a miracle. And here in Georgia it will be 77 degrees and sunny today. After we watched Mass this morning, Joe and I opened all our windows. We took the time to really clean our house -- not just the usual Thursday cleaning, but all the things we never make time for like scrubbing out our windowsills (those things are gross!) and really mopping our floor with Pledge and not just a quick wipe with the Swiffer. I put away our Snow Lodge candle and pulled out the spring-smelling Cactus Blossom candle I bought right before all this happened.

Are we scared? Yes. Well, I am. Joe, as always, is calm. But I look around my house and realize that Joe is home, we are healthy, our house is clean and smells fresh, and there is fresh air and sunshine pouring in the windows. Those are all blessings. We have to continue to find them where we can.

And remember: Buddy, you don't have to cry. I've never let you down.

Bert thought his legs looked especially toned and trim in this outfit, so he wanted to share a picture of himself with you!

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