i posted this image on 3/14/20, “make sure you stock up on compassion.”
we knew so little in those early moments, but the speed and uncertainty in which things were changing was unsettling and stressful. compassion seemed needed…still does.
3/14 was supposed to be opening day for Spring Break shows at work. we had an incredibly talented staff of performers and costume character performers who had been working hard under the direction of my amazing assistant managers. we thought we’d be back in a couple of weeks. i walked out not knowing that i wouldn’t be back.
soon after, my mom went to the ER by ambulance. her oxygen was low and she had pneumonia symptoms. i said i loved her, thinking i may not see her again. as it turned out, it was only pneumonia and she was released that evening.
what a year. over 500,000 lives gone. i knew a couple. others belonged to friends’ families and strangers who are not really strangers. societal inequities became apparent to many of us who were blind to just how deep and wide they exist.
i spent the year quarantined, going out occasionally for groceries or doctor visits. no socializing with friends in person. i don’t regret it. it hasn’t been easy, but i felt like my role was to protect my parents and care for them as best i could. they are alive and they just received their 2nd vaccine dose. who knows, they may not have gotten the virus anyway, but i wasn’t willing to gamble and felt it was worth the sacrifice.
i leaned into my meditation practice and had the opportunity in the Fall, after my tenure at LEGOLAND ended, to continue my meditation teacher training through a program with Tibet House US. ironically, an opportunity i would not have had if it weren’t for the pandemic.
what’s ahead is a mystery, but i feel hopeful. i’ve seen heroism in health care professionals that fills me with awe and by so many i know and do not know who really embodied empathy and compassion wearing their masks and social distancing even though it was/is a sacrifice.
whatever is ahead, we will still need compassion, so we may as well not forget to stock up on it.