I know some places around the United States still have not been able to venture out of their quarantine life at this point, however, us here, in North Dakota, have somewhat gone back to a bit of regularity. We are back at church, (socially distanced, of course), we can eat at restaurants, kids have started back at school with a few precautions, people are moving about with a bit more ease. We are still taking precautions, wearing masks, and not getting too close to large groups of people, but life was starting to feel a little bit better. Our family was feeling a little bit more at ease.
Then, one week ago, our world came to a screeching halt. At 6:50am, my telephone rang. It was our youngest sons school calling us to tell us that he was not allowed to come to school that day because he was a close contact to a positive COVID case. His aide had tested positive for COVID…he was required to quarantine for 14 days. The next day people in our house started to sniffle and have scratchy throats. As a mom, I ordinarily would not have thought twice about it, but one of us had now been exposed to COVID, so now I wrestled on if we should get tested. We decided to go to a free drive thru testing site, just to make sure. Two days later we were texted our results, all negative…BUT…we were missing one of our family member’s test. What could this mean? We convinced ourselves that they had lost the test…yes that is it, the test is lost! Sadly, that was not the case! Two hours later we got a call that the missing test was indeed a positive result. How can this be? It was not even the child who had the positive contact. We get a call from our contact tracer and we are told our positive case must isolate until September 27 and then we can begin our 14 days of quarantine as household contacts. In total we are now at 25 days of a quarantine…again! 25 days!!! This is only if nobody else in our household tests positive! Lord…Have…Mercy…On…My…Soul!!!
My mind starts spinning…what do we have to cancel, whom do I need to contact, who was she in contact with the 48 hours before she became symptomatic? Oh my gosh, she will be quarantined on her fourteenth birthday! My heart sinks! (Not that we would have a party, but we would have had the grandparents over for dinner!) How am I going to tell her she is positive? How will she react? Oh, my goodness, my mom was around us…she has heart issues! Is she going to be ok? “STOP!!! Tara Stop!” I hear in my heart, “I’ve got this! I’ve got you!” Peace falls over my heart!
My husband calls our daughter upstairs and together we tell her she is positive for the DREADED COVID! Her first response is tears because she knows she has seen her grandmother. After we told her it was not her fault she calmed down and completely embraced the fact that she had COVID. She has thanked God that it was her and not her little brother with Down Syndrome. She has thanked God that her symptoms were not any worse than they have been. She has thanked God that she is not dealing with some other type of disease that is terminal. She has isolated herself away from us as best as she can, never complaining…not even once. Our family does not always do well with being away from each other, so when I say isolated from us, I mean she sits some of her time in her bedroom and the other time six feet away from us. My mama heart misses her when she is in her room, but we are surviving.
In this time, we could complain that we must sit in this house for 25 DAYS!!! We could complain that we will miss our fifteenth wedding anniversary and her fourteenth birthday celebrations. Instead, we have chosen…again…to embrace quarantine life. We have chosen to enjoy the slower pace of our days. We have ordered art canvases and will have fun art nights. We are planning movie and game nights. We, of course, had to order comfort food! We will still celebrate our anniversary and birthday, just differently than we may have ordinarily.
It seems like in our community COVID continues to spread in rampant ways. Many families are under quarantine and we, the Brooke Family, would like to encourage you to embrace the place in your life God has given to you. God knows what we all need. God never abandons us and in these uncertain times of our crazy health crises, we remind you to let God’s presence be felt within your home. As your mind goes crazy and your doubt takes over, (just as mine did…because let’s face it, the media has scared us about COVID) remember, Jesus tells us, “Fear Not! I am with you!”