I’m really really sorry that this is even happening.
That I am even writing about this.
I am sure that I am not the only one, though, who may be going through the same experience.
Here it goes…
My sister and I have a great friend.
She has been there for both of us through every significant event that has happened in our lives.
She was there for both of my sister’s marriages, which ended sourly.
She was there when our mother had a stroke and developed dementia.
She was there when our parents went through a horrific divorce.
She was there when our dad was going through cancer.
She was there when I had my son and I had to have an emergency c-section.
She was the first one to hold my son, by the way.
She was there when I was going through post-partum depression and could not even figure out how to work a breast pump.
She was there when I had my second child and was the only one who openly volunteered to be there with me when I had my c-section.
She was the first one to hold my baby girl.
And she was there to run to the store to get me groceries after I first brought my daughter home from the hospital and was trying to juggle being a single parent while carrying for a new baby and a 3 year old.
But right after that, it stopped.
Her being there.
Because the political debate over the Coronavirus heated up.
And the one difference between her and my sister and I was the political parties that we support.
We are Democrat.
She is Republican.
We are hard-core Democrat.
She is hard-core Republican.
It was never an issue in the past and we just all chose not to discuss politics with each other.
But Corona changed that.
The last time I saw her, I was standing at the back door holding my baby.
My 3 year old, Ryan, was chanting, “Auntie Sam! Auntie Sam!” through the glass.
“Auntie Sam” could not come in.
Because I was starting to refrain from letting people into our home because of the virus.
It was heart-breaking, but I had to protect us…even from, maybe, Auntie Sam.
At that point, she was understanding.
Understanding that I was just trying to protect my children and that I was trying to protect her and her three boys (who were standing next to her) because, hey, we could spread the virus to them just as easily as they could to us.
But it pained me deeply because this beautiful, angelic friend of mine just helped me to deliver my newborn baby girl just 2 weeks before they shut down the country.
And I could not let her hold her, nevertheless, let her into the house.
Sam had dropped off some groceries for us and I handed her a check for the money.
She left a gift of a puzzle on the front of my car that she had picked up for my son.
And that was it.
Probably the last I will ever see of my friend, Sam.
Because my sister has informed me that her loyalty to the “other side” is so strong that the two of them barely talk on the phone now, and when they do, their conversations do not go well.
They go in the wrong direction.
My sister believes that the virus is real and that masks should be worn.
She does not.
Sam refuses to wear a mask, even though they are mandatory in our state.
She will purposefully walk into stores without one and does not care what others think.
She gets on with her life with her family as though nothing is happening.
She insists that her children will be going to school in the fall despite the potential dangers of sending them.
She downplays my sister’s concerns with the virus and takes every opportunity to try to belittle my sister when it comes to her beliefs on this.
And I have not contacted her because, after hearing this, I know that my conversation with her would end even more sour.
Even more so than my sister’s conversations with her because I am a firm believer that the virus is real and that masks should be worn, schools should remain closed and that every precaution should be taken in order to protect yourself, as well as others.
If her and I were to speak at this point, it would not go well at all.
And I believe that she knows it, too, which is probably why I have not heard from her either.
So, I choose to leave things as we left them…
But my heart aches….
And I’m deeply saddened by this.
As if the isolation alone wasn’t enough, now I lose my best friend over such a ridiculous thing as the divide between data-driven science and politics.
I look at other friends/neighbors as I take the children for a walk through our neighborhood and they all still get together at one another’s houses (maskless, mind you) with their children as though nothing is going on.
I think about the father of one child who travels for a living and how he could potentially pick up the virus and transfer it to the neighbors that him, his wife and daughter frequently visit.
Don’t they think about it?
Don’t they consider the possible spread?
Don’t they care enough about one another?
Maybe they don’t.
Maybe they are like my friend and just want so badly to go about their friendship and routine that they barely give a second thought.
But how can they?
How can you turn a blind eye to such a horrific notion as you, yourself, could be the one to pass the virus on to another family, and then, they become so ill that someone could potentially die?
Sometimes, I am really envious that they go on with their regular lives and sit outside on their patio and chat and drink while the children play together in the yard.
Sometimes, I am envious that the mothers meet up with their children in the strollers and they walk and chat and enjoy the fresh air.
And here I am, alone.
Loving the time that I have with my two babies, but longing to be a part of their little mommy click.
They barely say “hi” to me anymore.
And I know that they talk about me and my fears of this virus and probably how stupid I look in a mask that I wear when ever one of my parents comes to visit outside on our driveway (because, again, I do not allow anyone else inside my house).
I cannot be the only one who wallows in this heart-ache in the midst of trying to navigate through the day, alone, with 2 children and significant financial and emotional stress.
Can I be?
Do I regret making these “safety” decisions for myself and my children?
No, absolutely not.
But am I having a hard time with it?
I sure am.
“God, please help me to stay strong and help me to turn my head from the envy that I feel, for I know that, deep within my heart, I am doing the right thing for me, for others and for our children.”
And, if you are finding yourself in the same boat, it is okay.
If you have to lose some friends…some status…some other things that were once deemed so damn important in this world –
in order to keep you and others around you safe –
then it is okay,
Hold on to your health, your home and your family best you can and just wait for the storm to pass.
Never mind the others.
You will create amazing friendships once again after this is all over.
In the meantime, May God Bless You and Your Loved Ones on this Journey.