Dear Tony, Bri, and Miranda,
I am not sure how to begin, but the Earth is closed. I am not allowed to use an ellipse for effect because it causes Bri anxiety. Not the fact that Earth is closed, because she bought land in Mars on Groupon, but she is not in favor of using the ellipse as a punctuation device because she feels it leaves you hanging.
More than ever, I need to use the ellipse.
Tony, in 2001, your dream trip to play in Carnegie Hall with the high school band came to an abrupt halt with the horror of 9-11. At that moment, the Earth stopped turning and life changed forever. Your high school career is memorialized by the events of the attack and aftermath that left us shocked, angry and determined.
Bri, in 2019, your Navy graduation for Nuclear Power School was impacted by a very busy hurricane season. The storm that threatened Florida decided to head towards Charelston, SC and blow us away from celebrating the mid point of a two-year strenuous program deserving of every celebration topped with pimento cheese.
Fast forward to 2020. Next week you graduate from Prototype school and complete your nuclear qualifications, yet we won’t be there. Beach house cancelled. Celebrations paused. Hugs left unhugged. Why? Because the Earth has not just stopped, it has closed.
This week, we have begun stockpiling supplies (with an extreme hoarding phenomenon of toilet paper), moved school to online instruction with little warning, adapted a new vernacular including words such as: viral load, super spreaders, social distancing, flatten the curve, to name a few terms and phrases.
The world as we know it is closing, one store and one school at a time.
Miranda, now in 2020, your prom dress hangs sparkling in the closet. Your awards and ribbons lie next to your cap and gown. Your senior cruise tickets are paid for with an insurance policy titled “cancel any time”. Your final dance competitions are scheduled next month and we might not see your last dance or senior recital. Your graduation ceremony is a mirage you cling to.
My dear children, you have each experienced the Earth shattering turbulence of life.
I can’t fix this.
But…I can wipe away the tears.
But…I can grieve with you for memories lost.
But…I can hold your hand as we wait for the Earth to open again.
Until then (and it will re-open)…
We wait together.
Mom (I will always be on the other side of the ellipse)