Yes, I am up. It is 2 a.m. on Wednesday, April 1, 2020, and I am waiting for some news anchor to smile at the camera and say, “April Fool’s Day! There’s no pandemic! We were just kidding you, America!”
But that would be a horrible joke. An awful joke.
A few days ago, I had a laugh with friends. I said to them, “What if this is an awful dream? What if I’m dreaming?”
I said this because about three weeks ago, I suffered a concussion (some of you probably read my blog post about that, so I won’t go into detail). I began to think, perhaps, I lost consciousness and fell into a coma. Maybe this is all in my head, and I’m dreaming! I told my friend, just slap my face and wake me up! She laughed, of course, and said, “No, Lisa, this is reality.”
This coronavirus has moved through the world and made people stop what they have been doing for years – it has halted the world!
As a wordsmith, I looked up the word “corona.” It has different meanings based on various topics. In anatomy, it means the crown. In astronomy, it is the gaseous glow from the sun; in botany, it is the center of the daffodil; in architecture, it is the cornice or an ornamental molding below the ceiling in a room. It is a noun – a thing.
But then, yesterday, I heard some devastating news. A former colleague who I worked with for 10 years at another charter high school, passed away. She didn’t have coronavirus, but she succumbed to an aneurysm.
My memories of her are genuine. She was a hard worker, very intelligent, funny, energetic, and passionate. She was a mother to all of us who worked with her; and, there were times when we didn’t agree and butted heads. However, the news was devastating! My heart is broken. I loved that she adored animals! We rescued a kitten from underneath a school bus one day, and she kept it and nursed it back to health. I met my best friend through her too.
When we worked together at the charter school’s district office, we’d go outside on a picnic bench, so that she could smoke, and we would strategize and plan curriculum roll-outs, or shift gears with the English Language Learner standards. She would write down our plans on napkins if we didn’t have paper, and I would tell her to slow down when she spoke because she was talking so fast!
I remember we went to Orlando with some other colleagues and attended an educational conference. The hotel that we were supposed to stay in was awful! It was grungy, dirty, and smelled. She called us back downstairs, booked us into a Hilton, and paid for it with her personal credit card. If a toilet was backed up, she would try to unplug it. And, although we lost touch with each other after I left that position, I always remembered her.
There will be no service here in Tucson because of the coronavirus. Her body will be shipped back to her hometown of Omaha, Nebraska, where her family will have a small funeral; I feel for her husband and her children. She loved her children, and I heard she loved taking care of her grandchildren too.
It’s almost 3 a.m.
In one hour, I poured out a lot of emotion; tears flowed as I wrote this, and I had to pause a few times.
“Weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning.” – Psalm 30:5.