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During the last nine months we have heard over and over again: “We are in this together.” But what does this mean? Does it mean we feel each other’s pain? Is it just a good slogan for TV ads? Are the people who will not wear a mask, who consider the virus a hoax, or who dismiss it as no worse than the flu really in this together with me. I think not.
I have friends who are in this together with me. They are the ones who will drop everything and talk, walk, cry with me, even while socially distanced on a retaining wall. They are the ones who are willing to share a bottle of wine, even while keeping their distance at the pool. They are the one who Zoom with me, even when I don’t feel my appearance is “Zoom ready.” My “We are in this together” friends listen to my pain without critique or judgment. In our conversations, they have taught me to give and receive grace amidst the risks we each take to stay connected.
When as a young woman, I went through a divorce while separated from my family by over 1,600 miles. My grandmother, who was so old-school she didn’t even use the word “divorce,” sent me a letter with a poem that made the miles between us vanish. The poem contained a line I have always remembered: “Love may come and love may go, but friends are the sunshine of life.”
Even though we are all doing this pandemic in different ways, the most important thing for me is to cherish and hold close my friends, for they are the sunshine of my life. Who are your “We are in this together” friends? My hope is that you too find the sunshine of life in these friends, as they walk beside you on this pandemic journey.