I know I have been thinking about how this month we mark the year anniversary, of our lives being impacted by the pandemic. But even though there is a lot to say, I do not want to focus on covid-19 anymore. I know we cannot truly avoid thinking about it, and it certainly has been an oddly eventful year, for a year when I basically stayed home and interacted with very few people; but that is not what I want to write about today. I want to write about the earrings.
A while ago, I saw my niece, Hannah, wearing a pair of earrings, which I admired and which looked particularly nice on her. It occurred to me that I had a pair of earrings she might also like, as they were very much her style.
Normally, that thought would have stirred me to retrieve the earrings, and offer them to her; but I did not. My hesitation was that they had been given to me by Lia, and I tend to treasure gifts.
A couple of years ago, when Lia was visiting me, she was wearing the earrings. I happened to admire them, and told her how nice they looked upon her. They did suite her well.
When Lia was getting ready to go home, she left me the earrings. I was almost sorry I had said anything about them to her, as my intention was to compliment her and not to add to my jewelry box.
But Lia has that quality, which my Mother also possessed. You need to be careful when you say you like something to them, because they will take their “shirt off their back” and give it to you.
As my niece’s birthday drew nearer I kept thinking about the earrings and how much I thought she might like them.
Lia and I have been friends for around forty years; she is not petty and does not give conditionally. In my heart I knew she would tell me that the earrings were mine to do with as I wished. Never-the-less, I did not want to give them away without first asking her, or at least sharing the why behind my desire.
She lives a continent away, has a very demanding schedule, and I do not have the proper long distance applications on my phone; thus speaking with one another is a hit and miss situation. But things fell into place and she and I were able to speak.
It was a wonderful conversation, like we used to have when we met in college. She had seen a documentary, which she thought I would enjoy, I suggested a book she might like to read, we reminisced about her trip to South Florida, and yes caught up on the people in our lives. As the conversation drew to a close, I brought up the earrings, with a bit of trepidation, not because of her, but because of me.
I do not think she skipped a beat, immediately she began talking about how much my niece means to her and that she has a special place in her heart for Hannah, who Lia met when my niece was born. In fact, my niece had her first cup of tea at Lia’s house!
Lia asked me to please wish my niece a very happy birthday; and again assured me that she completely understood why I would want to give someone I love the earrings. I exhaled. The conversation had been perfect.
Last night we celebrated my niece’s birthday. I told her the story of the earrings, before she opened them, and I think loved them; she actually put them on. Lia, we did well!
I love the idea of sharing something with my niece that came from Lia, and something which Hannah can enjoy today.
We have sort of started to celebrate family gatherings again. Things are not like they were before the pandemic; but I am happy we got to mark my niece’s birthday together. I know I said I did not want to write about the pandemic, but it really is the elephant in all of our rooms.
Many well-meaning people have sent me videos and articles raising concerns over the covid vaccine; and I thank you and appreciate you caring. But this week I found out that I will be able to get a vaccine in April, and frankly I cannot wait.
We are living in a world of unknowns. A lot of people that I love have caught this disease; fortunately none of them have had to be hospitalized or worse.
While I know and understand people’s hesitations about side effects from the vaccine; I also know that covid can be and has been deadly for many, that there are side effects, in some people who have successfully battled covid, and I am choosing the best path back to my other life.
Speaking with Lia, on the phone, reminded me of how much I miss that other life. She is better traveled than I am, but a desire to go and see and learn, is something we share. We both talked about how much we miss the road, and look forward to adventures. Though we have seen a few places, neither of us is ready to hang up our knapsack, as it were.
I am also not ready to quite celebrating, or sharing my treasures with the people I love. Happy Birthday Hannah! That is all for now.