This wild and woolly Dumpster fire that we find ourselves in these days can seem as if all is ruined and never to be restored. We can easily tell ourselves the unruly stories of the mind such as all is lost, and we are entering into an extended period of despair.
And those catastrophic imaginings can be confirmed and affirmed merely by turning on the news or logging into one of our social media apps.
But today, I am going to tell you another kind of story. A true story full of magic, hope, and a fire truck. This, my friends, is how silver linings are discovered.
Our mom’s 70th birthday was yesterday. She is one of many others who found themselves embarking on a milestone that felt like it wasn’t going to receive its due. Of course, she never would have spoken a word about it, uttered nary a complaint. She would’ve waived us off with “pfft, don’t be silly,” And according to her, that would be the end of it.
But life in the Time of Quarantine has returned something to many of us: Time. An otherwise sketchy commodity that gets stolen so easily, misplaced daily, and dealt out like a bad hand of poker, has been dropped back into our hands– like a gift.
So even on a rainy evening in April, more than 20 people gathered into their respective vehicles, met in an old parking lot in our hometown, and proceeded to drive caravan-style to our parents home for a birthday parade. Their nearest neighbors filed into the conga line as we drove down the street and all proceeded to honk, wave, hold up elaborate signs of Happy Birthday, leave flowers at the end of the driveway and yell greetings from their car. And they did it for two reasons: they wanted to celebrate our mom and, for once, they actually had the time.
Oh and there was a fire truck. Yes, when you live in a small town and you’ve made nearly everyone’s birthday cake, wedding cake, and graduation cake and everything in between (as our mom has) you get a fire truck because what’s a parade without a siren and lights?
Quarantine, and the virus that prompted it, has wrought havoc on many to be sure. But it’s also provided those who are on the periphery a rare opportunity — a do-over of sorts. And last night was a prime example. Even in the time of unbelievable circumstances we humans find a way to show up. We find a way to rise above. As the saying goes, “life will out.” In other words, we always find a way.
Sunshine & Sarcasm,
Lowi & G
P.S. Many thanks to everyone who showed up, sent good wishes and helped make this crazy thing possible. And a major shout out to our sister, Baby Lisa, who organized it all.