Keeping family ties strong
The Good Life|March 2021
Twelve months of COVID makes for a long year away from kids and grandkids
LINDA REID

When restrictions and shutdowns were first officially announced in March of last year, I remember listening to Governor Jay Inslee on the radio in the car.

It was one of those “frozen moments” for me where I felt a paradigm shift. Not yet as dramatic as the assassination of President John Kennedy or the tragedy of 9/11, but the feeling of uncertainty about where COVID-19 would take us was unmistakably jarring.

This past year has indeed taken us on “Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride.”

One of the most challenging consequences of this pandemic (other than the profound impacts of the disease itself) for many people has been managing long-distance relationships with loved ones.

I confess I have come to the realization that I have always felt entitled to see my daughter and grandchildren twice a year. That has been the case for 15 years, until 2020 came along.

We managed our biannual visits when they lived in France, in Hawaii, and Florida, where they have been for the past five years. We always had that much-needed dose of quality time together, and we have become dependent on it.

This past year has humbled me and made me even more grateful for the previously guaranteed anticipation of in-person hugs and snuggles with Emma (now 15) and Sam (12).

As the months went by, the reality of when it would be safe to travel to Florida, or for them to come here, began to form a dark cloud on the horizon.

We had our good-bye hugs on Jan. 8, 2020, so we passed the one-year mark almost two months ago. In looking back, I have been asking myself how we have been able to keep those critically important family bonds strong and thriving without our biannual time together.

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