The Difference a Year Makes

Today is hard. One year ago today was the last day my kid rode the bus to and from school, a day mostly like any other for middle schoolers. After she went to the bus, I started my long journey for a show in New Orleans on the 12th and Austin on the 14th, after a lot of back and forth messages about whether or not to cancel. We hadn't learned all these new words and survival tactics yet. I always took hand sanitizer and a variety of treatments to ward off colds and flu in the winter, but this time I thought to bring a pile of disposable rubber gloves for myriad gas refill stops. By the time I got back home for corned beef dinner on St. Patrick's Day, the world we knew had changed. 

I know the light at the end of the tunnel is taking shape, if we can get there fast enough. The faster-spreading variants might be a train coming the other way, and it might be a race against time to get enough of us vaccinated. I'm patiently waiting my turn with my sleeve rolled up, and I expect it most any day now. Hope abounds. 

But, it's also ok to struggle and have struggled with this past year. It's been really hard. We've lost so many, and so much. The list of things I will not again take for granted stretches off the table and across the floor. This March 11th I will raise a glass in gratitude and remembrance, and in hope for the better year that surely is to come. The Next Big Hug. I'll apologize now if it seems inappropriately long. It is infused with grief, and love, and appreciation, and heartbreak.

Time to get the kid up and logged into her Civics class, even as we write this really big chapter. Have a good day y'all. Squeeze your loved ones, whenever it's safe to do so.

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