I remember vividly when 9-11 happened. I— along with my brother and father— watched the second plane fly straight into the stately World Trade Center. We stood in front of my parent’s television in our former home in Washington, North Carolina, mouths agape.
Later that evening as news reports and images of a war scene on the streets of New York City unfolded, I remember feeling as scared and helpless as I’d ever felt.
I remember thinking that life could not possibly become worse here in the USA. Our pride and freedoms had been assaulted at home… on our soil. So many precious lives lost.
Then I became an Army girlfriend then wife, and survived the stressors of my husband’s deployments to Afghanistan.
Once, I heard a bomb explode during a phone call he made to me from a firebase in the middle of Afghanistan. The call suddenly disconnected. I became hysterical. I thought, “things could not get worse.”
Years later, mass shootings began to happen here in the US regularly. We almost became numb to the monthly, weekly tragedies. I once again thought it could not possibly get worse.
Especially, the evening the news broke of young children murdered in a school in Connecticut (Sandy Hook Elementary)— as I held my three-month-old son in my arms.
And now, here we are in the year 2020. I have friends who have lost parents to Covid-19. Our normalcy and entitlements have been obliterated. We aren’t allowed to go to the movies, concerts, festivals, gyms. We have to wear masks in public.
Businesses shutdown. Fear mongers and opportunists jump on every bandwagon to lay shame and push hate. People are frightened.
Our children aren’t allowed to visit playgrounds or swimming pools; they have been sent home from school to learn.
And again, I heard myself say— things cannot get any worse than this.
But it is crystal clear now.
Things can get worse.
History plays itself out time and time again.
Storms surge, intimidate, demolish, kill.
Friends come. Friends go. People you love live and they die.
The common denominator here is this— things will always get worse before they get better.
And almost always, LIFE GETS BETTER.
I want you to remember this as I remind myself— before you and I completely lose all our faculties.
Life WILL get better!!!
Repeat. Life will get better.
I’m not sure what the future will look like for us. But I know this for sure: we are resilient and we will survive this horrible time in life.
Now is the time to seek all the minuscule joyous moments.
Focus on those you love with your whole heart.
Seek out people who lift you up and make you laugh.
We need to think of others before we speak.
Be respectful and do something nice for someone else.
Spread HOPE to those around you.
This is NOT THE END OF THE WORLD.
The world is much stronger and smarter than this bump in the road.
Yes, things got terribly bad.
But I know things will get better.