My Mom and her church lady friends used to meet twice a month at someone’s house for Bible study and good ol’fellowship. Then, COVID put a halt to that.
Their first gathering since being shut down occurred was both a sad and happy reunion. It wasn’t a re-installment of their in-person Bible study meetings. It was a virtual event like so many are in “these days” of COVID. They came together to watch an online viewing of their friend’s memorial service. The biggest talker of their group, the one who livened it up with some eye-raising stories, their table centerpiece, had been added to the casualty list of COVID-19.
When my Mom told me their plans of watching it together, my response was to analyze it. Not hours or days but weeks. Analyzing to death is one of my “living on the spectrum” chores. This gathering of my Mom and her friends was just ironic to me. It was COVID that kept them from meeting as they once did, but it was the death of one of them to COVID that brought them together for the first time since we all started saying “these days”.
I myself met their friend a handful of times. She was so different from me but that difference drew me to her like a magnet. She talked and I listened.
I remember back in the day before COVID that if my Mom came home earlier than usual from the ladies bible study, I’d say, “She must not have been there.” I was usually right! If she was in the room, one would have to be hard of hearing not to know it.
When I heard that she was so bad that they couldn’t save her legs, I thought about how hard it would be for her to live without the use of them. It would be hard for anyone but for someone like her who was a bundle of energy, always seemingly on the go, it would have been even more challenging. And, there probably would have been more after-effects than her legs with her having had severe COVID and for such a long duration. I take it on faith that she is in a better place but it’s awfully hard on those she has left behind.
She was the family’s “Rock of Gibraltar”. She was a constant presence in the lives of her husband, children, and grandchildren. She was a strong advocate for her grandson who has epilepsy. How so? To put it simply, the school he attended knew his grandmother by sight and sound. She had his back and now it falls to his Mom who has her mother’s shining example to follow.
She did not get the vaccine shot. We can’t know what might have been if she had.
I was invited but the person inviting me probably knew I wouldn’t come. She is my “second Mom” and I have talked to her about my life on the Spectrum more than most anyone else. I grieved for this loss in my own way, by myself, as I do most things.
I am hopeful for these ladies that this sad and happy reunion won’t be the last but a new beginning. I hope they will eventually start meeting regularly again with each other and their new church lady friends who have joined the church since COVID and attending services virtually became a constant in their lives.
Due to COVID, there have been so many endings. The number is beyond my comprehension. But yet, there have been some beginnings too.