not easy

Life's not easy, especially of recent. The coronavirus pandemic is wreaking havoc with our world. We're all facing hardship and uncertainty of one kind or another. Will we or our loved ones get sick? Will we have enough food? How will we pay our bills? When will physical distancing ease up? Will life go back to normal? When will we be able to have dinner parties?

Meanwhile, in India, millions of migrant workers are trekking outrageous distances—some 500 miles or more while wearing flip flops—to return to their villages after losing their jobs in the cities. Some have died along the way from starvation and exhaustion. In this nation as in others, refugees crammed in camps have no protection from the coronavirus. Some Americans are still not heeding physical distancing. Too many so-called leaders have been, and continue to be, slow to react to the crisis. Domestic violence is on the rise. Some nations are still in the thralls of civil war.

Because of these worries and stresses, at times I find myself more on edge taking care of Calvin while he is out of school and without his nurses here to help me. Thankfully, Michael is doing all of the grocery shopping and cooking, and taking care of Calvin so I can walk Smellie or do a little writing. Life for us, though historically protracted because our disabled child expands time in ways which are sometimes vexing and at others a blessing, has slowed even further now that we are on lockdown. Days feel longer and more monotonous, especially if we're trapped inside because of the weather. But I'm quickly getting back into the groove of taking care of him for hours and days on end, and I can see its benefits in the gift of having to practice mindfulness and the bringing into sharper focus what is both trivial and important. And, it helps that it has been nineteen days since Calvin's last grand mal, thanks, at least in part, to THCA.

This change in routine has prompted me to reflect on my own parents. I long for them—Dad who died twenty-four years ago, and Mom back in 2015. I wonder how my mother survived being at home alone all day when resources were thin, friends were scarce, and my father was away at work—one stint for months—leaving her with a six-year-old, a four-year-old, a three-year-old, a two-year-old and a newborn. How did she shop and clean and cook and wash and feed them and deal with poopy diapers all by herself? Then, four years later, I was born. Raising so many children must have been hell for her, and yet rarely did I ever see her lose her shit.

The gravity of this pandemic and the strict measures to contain it will no doubt heighten passions. Those emotions, like any, are real and valid, though perhaps now more fragile. I try hard to be patient and understanding with Calvin when he begins to chap my nerves. When he is screeching, my selfish instinct is to tell him to hush up, to say that he doesn't need to behave in the manic way he does. But what do I know about the way he feels? Not much. How could I? I can't get inside his head or his body to know how he is feeling physically or emotionally. What do I know? And so, now that I'm with him all day long, I've been trying to slow down, to meet his eruptions with love and affection, with as much understanding and sensitivity as I can muster. But when I fail, which I do often, I'll ask him for forgiveness and, in his own way, he'll give it to me willingly. He always does. We should do that for ourselves and for each other.


  1. thank you, Christy - needed to hear this on this sunny morning.

  2. You make sitting on a cushion and focusing on my breath sound like a walk in the park.

    Thanks for the attitude adjustment.