Socially-distanced loved ones help her find herself again
Dear Annie: My husband has been insulin dependent for 56 years and must avoid COVID-19, so I have stayed at home during the past 10 months, away from people as well. One morning, I wrote how I felt and then decided to post it on Facebook. I was right — many people were feeling the same way. The responses I received were so heartwarming. The ones from my son, who is 40, and from a friend for 50 years were my favorites. Here’s my post:
“Where did I go? I was here a minute ago. I seem to have lost myself. After 70 years of hard work I found myself and now, poof, I’m gone. Figures, it’s like everything else — I get the house clean, I get all the laundry done, and a couple of days later I have to do it all again. But I really wasn’t prepared to lose myself.
“Where’s the laughter? Where’s the fun? Where’s the helper, the creative one? Where’s the thinker? The funny girl? The leader, the organizer? Gone, like that.
“After almost a year of isolation, I realize that I am defined by my family and by my friends. Without them, I can’t find me. If you see me, will you let me know, please, before I am gone forever. “
My friend’s response: “Oh, I found you, Glynda. You were in my heart the whole time!”
My son’s response: “I see you every day. Even when I’m not looking. I see your humor in my kids when they make each other laugh. I am reminded how lucky I am when I watch Katie mother them because I know I was shown the same love as a child. I know the value of good cooking because you are an amazing cook. I have solid values and integrity because you showed me that it is important. I see me and see you, even when I’m not looking and that makes me smile.”
What more can I ask for?! — Feeling Grateful
Dear Feeling Grateful: Thank you for sharing your reflection during this very difficult time. Your feelings of isolation are shared by millions around the world. But as you point out, though we might be physically alone right now or distanced from our loved ones, we are never truly alone. People are always connected through love and communication with others. Remember, this isolation will not last. It is only temporary, and we are on the road to recovery.
Dear Annie: Your recent letter about charities sending thank-you notes along with a solicitation for more money prompted me to write. Not only am I frustrated with that, but also I am frustrated with the almost weekly mail I get asking for donations. I am tempted to stop sending any money if they are only going to use my donation to send out more solicitations. I prefer to make one suitable donation a year. Yesterday, I received three letters from the same charity. I am tired of filling the trash with their letters. — Tired of Solicitations
Dear Tired of Solicitations: Many of you wrote in with similar complainants. No one likes to be bombarded with solicitations after you have recently given. I’m printing your letter so that charities take note of their contributors’ frustrations. It has to be said that most of these charities are doing wonderful work. Try and keep the end goal in mind: to help those in need.
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“Ask Me Anything: A Year of Advice From Dear Annie” is out now! Annie Lane’s debut book — featuring favorite columns on love, friendship, family and etiquette — is available as a paperback and e-book. Visit http://www.creatorspublishing.com for more information. Send your questions for Annie Lane to firstname.lastname@example.org.