The beginning of May felt hopeful.
We kicked off the month by adopting our dog, Stevie. He is an elderly guy who came to Chicago all the way from Alabama at the beginning of 2020. He had some rough dental work, a stay in an amazing foster home, and then came home to us. We often refer to him as our therapy dog. Everyone one of us has laughed with Stevie and cried with Stevie during these difficult days. Without 2020, Stevie might not have made his way to our doorstep, so for this we are thankful.
Mid-May was Mother’s Day. I had not seen my parents since early March. Both are older and have different medical conditions. My mom was adamant about seeing us. We decided to set up an outdoor meal complete with grilled steaks, potatoes and veggies. We were thankful for the wonderful weather so that we could sit outside and share time without a screen separating us. My dad did not want to come. He was worried about my mom and her heart condition. My mom is stubborn and refused to spend Mother’s Day without seeing her family. “We never know when the last day might be, so we need to celebrate today,” she firmly told us.
In May, Illinois also started to loosen some restrictions. My children were not able to get back to in-person activities, but they were bike riding with friends and getting Starbucks in town. As the month wore on, outdoor dining was established and developed to save our floundering restaurants. We enjoyed sitting down at a table and being served a hot meal. Although, as of this post, I can probably count on both hands how many times we have done this in the last 6 months.
The weather was changing allowing everyone to be outside. We felt hopeful. The sun was shining. I remember at this point thinking, “Maybe it will go away in the summer. The flu doesn’t rage much in the warm weather. Maybe we will get a break until fall.” I look back now at my naivete and chuckle. We were telling ourselves stories and following the narratives that kept us most sane, and likely continued the philosophical divide.
May 25, 2020: George Floyd was killed in Minneapolis, MN. The country tilts on is axis, again.