I was 26 years old when I birthed my daughter, the final child we were to have…the icing on our cake. She was, like her older brothers, a joy to raise, and I mean that sincerely. Through the years, I watched with joy, fear, excitement, and sheer terror as my daughter grew up. (Teenage dating is not for the faint of heart!)
This year, she turned 33 and welcomed her second child. And now I watch, from more of a distance than ever, as she navigates the many parts of her life as a wife, mom, friend, sister, and a surgical nurse in the midst of the 2020 worldwide pandemic. COVID has given me a new vision of who my daughter is today. This deadly virus has shown me that the little girl I raised, and sometimes still see when I look at her, has become a strong capable woman somewhere along the way, one I deeply admire.
Not too many years back, we watched in fear as she struggled and fought through the grip of alcoholism, which was the most frightening experience as a parent I’d ever had up to that point. Many moments I literally feared for her life. I feared for her own daughter, that she could possibly lose her mother. I still can barely write about those years without feeling a quaking inside. Addiction is a wicked disease that has claimed lives and relationships, families, and livelihoods. I know too many who have stood by the grave of a beloved son or daughter, husband or wife, and walked away with the hollow emptiness they carry from then on. We walked way too close to the edge of that barren place during her fight.
One Day at a Time
Somehow, through the grace of God and many prayers, and my daughter’s dogged determination to take the next impossible hard step, she survived. Not only did she survive, but she has also worked hard to become an accomplished and caring nurse and a sober woman. We’ve watched as she has grown in her career and as she continues to learn the tricky balance of a stressful and demanding job along with motherhood. But I could have never in my life imagined knowing my girl would walk into a hospital exploding with a pandemic, with a virus that held more questions than answers, and more death than we’ve seen in our lifetime. I imagine it feels a bit like the moms who have sent their children off to the front lines of war.
2020 started with a celebration in our family; we learned my daughter and her husband were expecting a baby. This would be her second child and our fourth grandchild. We were overjoyed and so excited to welcome this new life into our clan! Then March came, and the news started pouring out about the Coronavirus and the anticipated uptick in cases for the hospitals. The closures and deaths started happening. And every one of those days my daughter had to go to work at her hospital, leaving one child at home and carrying one child growing inside of her. Our celebration quickly turned to a holding of our breath and constant prayers for her/their safety and protection. My daughter is trained, educated and skilled. She was needed and she showed up. She is still showing up. Every. Single. Day.
She Faced Challenge after Challenge
And as if not knowing what she would face at work every day wasn’t enough, she also had to go to almost all of her OB appointments alone, without her husband. Up until the day she entered the hospital to give birth, she knew there was a possibility that her husband might not be allowed to be there with her. Because of the pandemic, she couldn’t have visitors at the hospital or at her home. I’m not sure I could have managed half of what she’s done. That’s all I’m really trying to say here.
I know many millions of people have had similar experiences and worse. Many thousands of lives have been lost, and many thousands more whose lives will never be the same. I am not trying to diminish those losses or those traumas in any way whatsoever. I’m just wanting to say how proud I am of my little girl turned warrior woman. I admire her deeply: who she is and how she’s walking through this new chapter of her life. So proud.
2020 presented far too few opportunities to celebrate and not just because of COVID. As a result, many of us have had to learn that we must make our own opportunities to celebrate the small things and the big things. I’m celebrating my daughter and our new grandson. I’m celebrating the persevering souls of the many men and women who found a level of strength and courage they never knew they had. You have all been bright lights in the middle of a dark time. Thank you will never be enough. Thank you so much!
For more inspiration on fining a positive mind set during the Pandemic please visit here.