Since getting back from Florida, at the Mayo Clinic for Jon, then seeing my extended family for Thanksgiving, life has been a blurry painting of busyness and longing. With school coming to a close, my heart aches for the past, wishing to travel back in time, when hugging loved ones was not seen as a risk.
This time last year, my older brother, Kelvyn, was involved in a multiple rollover car accident. I remember where I was that day. Sitting on the couch watching “Princess and the Frog” after church with one of the kiddos whom I used to live with, hearing Kelv’s sobs over the phone as he cried out in agony, confused to what had happened. Walking into that room that day, seeing my brother’s broken body in bed, I thanked God for keeping him alive.
This year things are different. Kelv has since had neck surgery and fully healed from his injuries, and I now work at a Senior Living Center, where the day’s are full. Pulling long hours, with 3 face masks and full PPE some days, my bed seems to be a stranger for the time being. I remember the feeling of loneliness when I first got that phone call from Kelv. Wondering what had happened, who could I call; and then I think of my residents. Those unable to see their loved ones this Christmas due to potential outside exposure. Sitting in that hospital room with Kelv, tears of gratitude flooded down, as arms of comfort surrounded me from my sister, Anna, to Jon and his sweet mama, Mrs. Ehresman to Mrs. Christy and my parents to my younger brothers, Kaden and Blake.
This past week we had a resident test positive with the virus. I took care of her in full PPE, waiting until the ambulance came to transport her to a special facility designed to treat elderly positive patients. As I held her hands, with full PPE on, 3 masks, and double gloved, the look in her eyes reminded me of that day last year when Kelv said he was in the hospital, unsure of what had happened and had broken his back and neck in several places. Pure fear and terror. Staring into her eyes, I told her over and over that, “we love her and will see her soon.” Watching as she was loaded into the back of the ambulance, completely isolated and fearful of the unknown, I began to pray for peace and comfort to fill her heart. I cannot image how Kelv would’ve felt if no one could’ve been with him, having no one to hold his hand or perform the macarena on a chair at midnight.
With work hours building up and watching as those dear, beloved resident’s are lonesome in this Holiday Season, my heart aches for them. God created us to build community with one another; I struggle to see the fine line between inhumanity and safety when it comes to this virus, but as the days continue to be full, please be praying for those who are not allowed to hug their loved ones amidst this scary time. This year, I’m grateful Kelv’s still with us, and I get to hug him extra tight this Christmas. Growing up with him as my older brother and best friend has been a treasure, one that I will hold close to my heart. May this Christmas be one to look back on, and remember to cherish the time when you can still hug your loved ones.