Beginnings and Endings: One Year Later
A year ago, I wrote a piece for the Lumunos E-News called Relationships: Beginnings and Endings, in which I explored a couple of challenges I foresaw for the upcoming year—welcoming a new baby into our family and starting the long process of saying goodbye to my dad who has Alzheimer’s.
These challenges came to bear, but it’s still almost funny to look back. In January of 2020, none of us knew the extent of what was coming.
It bears saying that although my family and I encountered challenges, like giving birth during quarantine and trying to nurture our preschooler’s social development through a pandemic, we have been tremendously fortunate not to have lost a loved one, contracted COVID, or lost our livelihoods. And I am happy to report that my now 4-year-old daughter adores her 9-month-old brother. Of course, there have been moments of jealousy and conflict, but, overall, it has been truly heartwarming to see their relationship develop. They make each other laugh, they play, and they snuggle.
I am also happy to report that I have had two very special and meaningful visits with my dad this year. We took strict COVID precautions in order to travel to Michigan to be with him. I am so grateful for the loving and devoted care that my stepmom provides him. And we are fortunate that Alzheimer’s has distilled his personality down to its endearing core. He may not know the way to the bathroom, but he’s still cracking jokes, expressing his deep gratitude, and asking those around him how they’re doing.
Last year, Lumunos helped me prepare for these important relationship transitions, which in turn, contributed to a sense of well-being I might otherwise have struggled to find. The longer I work for Lumunos, the greater understanding I have of well-being—it is a journey. We are unfinished. In the words of the inspiring, young inaugural poet Amanda Gorman:
Somehow we weathered and witnessed a nation
that isn’t broken, but simply unfinished…
That even as we grieved, we grew.
That even as we hurt, we hoped.
That even as we tired, we tried.