We spent two days driving, then two and a half days at our destination, and another two days coming home. Some people might question whether the time we spent there was worth the time it took to get there and back. Under other circumstances, I might agree. But not this time.

We were visiting our grandkids.

My husband and I got our second vaccination in mid-February, and waited the recommended amount of time to allow the vaccine to come to full strength. Then we hit the road to visit our son, daughter-in-law, and two grandchildren. Our granddaughter turned two in January, and we had seen her only twice before now – both in pre-pandemic days. And we were meeting our grandson, who was born last July, for the first time.

I can’t begin to express the mix of feelings we had before, during, and after our visit. Excitement and anticipation on our way there, of course, and absolute joy at seeing the kids and being able to hug them, hold them, and play with them, as well as being able to spend time with our son and daughter-in-law for the first time in over a year. It also felt good just to get out of our house and go somewhere besides the grocery store and doctor’s appointments.

But a few less-than-positive thoughts and emotions also popped up along the way. Although we took all the precautions we could as we traveled – wearing masks whenever we stepped outside of the car, and using plenty of soap and sanitizer at hotels, restaurants, gas and rest stops – it was impossible to feel 100% safe and protected.

And as we marveled at the kids, and how “grown up” they are, I couldn’t help feeling a slight sense of resentment over the situation, and at the coronavirus itself for robbing us of the opportunity to visit our family during the past year and to share in some of the milestones of our grandchildren’s first few years of life.

Then I found myself feeling guilty over that. After all, COVID has robbed many people of much more than the family time I lost. That doesn’t hold a candle to the suffering of those who’ve lost loved ones, or their jobs, their homes, or their health.

As time goes by, I’m sure we’ll all be experiencing a variety of feelings – some expected, some not – as we deal with both the good and the bad that is yet to come. Vaccines and variances. Outbreaks and inroads. Restrictions imposed and lifted.

Much about the coronavirus is beyond our control. But there is so much we can do, on a day-to-day basis, that will get us beyond COVID and back to normal sooner rather than later. My hope and prayer is that everyone will feel the same way, and act accordingly. Because we’re not out of the woods yet. And because the health and well-being of everyone is at stake.

And because I can’t wait to see my grandchildren again.

March 20, 2021
©Betty Liedtke, 2021

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