On Sean’s birthday eve, we took him out for a fancy dinner to a fancy restaurant. Between bites of wild mushroom and walnut risotto, we asked Sean how he would describe this past year, his past year. I prepared myself for yet another onslaught of pain as I expected him to talk about our loss. Instead, he said he considers the past year (past 2 years really) as year of resilience. He acknowledged the deaths in our family – his aunt, both my parents, my 3 other aunts to Covid. The impact of Covid on our family – losses, sadness, lack of any joy, despair. As well as how Covid impacted others – loss of loved ones, loss of jobs, deterioration of mental health, rise in domestic violence. Yet those of us who survived the pandemic persevered. Yes, we had differences about how we would deal with the pandemic which drew yet another divisive line among us, but we persevered. We came out of it. Medical professionals worked day and night to prepare vaccines. Governments made it accessible in varying degree in different countries across the globe. Despite our losses, we are laughing again, we are living, loving.
Recently, I saw one of our regular customers at the library after many, many months. I had not seen him since we reopened and I found myself thinking of him often. He keeps to himself mainly, paces the library, mutters to himself. I was shelving when I saw him slowly walking towards the computer with a cane. The cane is a new addition but he was alive. He came through the pandemic. I felt such a surge of relief.
There is a war brewing. Innocent lives are again being sacrificed to greed of autocrats. People are fighting back though – with arms, with donations, with kindness towards refugees. Human resilience at play, yet again.
Year of resilience it has been. Year of human resilience it continues to be.