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January 27, 2021

My COVID journey — Part 5: In spite of me

By Ann Farabee

Day 11.  Charles tested for COVID.

Day 12.  Results were positive.

Another 10-day isolation began.

Our 14-day quarantine was extended to 21 days.

Return to school would have to wait.

Return to church would have to wait.

Return to grocery stores would have to wait.

Return to normal was nowhere in sight.

This felt like one of the saddest times of our lives just knowing the seriousness of the virus and how the unknown seemed to overtake our thinking.

The phone calls from the COVID line had restarted. Isolation and quarantine were hard — and difficult to fulfill as a family, but we were determined to do it. We were thinking of you and your loved ones — we would never want to be the cause of someone else having to go through what we had been going through with COVID.

Day 13

9 p.m.

My 16-year-old stepped into my room and said, “Good night.” He hesitated for a second in the dimly lit bedroom, and then softly said, “I always thought you and Papaw would be here with us until we grew up.”

This moment overtook all the other moments of this journey as being the most heartbreaking.

He walked out of the room immediately. I tried to call out to him, “Don’t worry! We will be!” but no words came out of my mouth. There were only tears falling down my cheeks.

Being isolated from our grandsons in our home was hard. We do not think of them as grandsons — we think of them as sons, for they had been with us since they were very young. Sure, it had crossed our minds at times that we may not live to see them grow up, but only for a fleeting second. Never had it truly seemed to be a possibility, but knowing the thought had seeped its way into my 16-year-old son’s mind crushed me.

Three weeks of quarantine and isolation in our home was not only hard on us — but it was hard on them.

Days 14-15. Improvement was beginning to come for me. My taste came back! Mental fog had taken its place, but I thought it was an excellent trade-off. I began to realize there was still a world out there — and not just this evil virus that had robbed us of our normal lives.

Day 16.  I got up. I walked downstairs to get my own coffee for the first time in over two weeks. I noticed the violets in my windowsill that a friend had brought to me right before I was diagnosed with COVID.

I took a closer look. I felt the dirt in the pot. It was as dry as a desert.

I was sure it had not been watered in at least 16 days.

Upon closer inspection, I realized there was minimal browning of the leaves, and the purple flowers were still beautiful.

Not only had the violets survived — but they had thrived!

They had grown and flourished — in spite of me.

As I began to shower them with water — and love — I received reassurance.

I thought of my two teenage boys still sleeping upstairs and how my greatest fear since they were toddlers had been, “What would my family do if something happened to me?”

I had received the answer to that question. Out of our adversity had come stronger young men. They had survived and thrived — in spite of me.

On my first trip downstairs since COVID, the word of God had spoken — through the violets in my windowsill.

Luke 12:28 says, “And if God cares so wonderfully for flowers that are here today and gone tomorrow, won’t He more surely care for you?”

I knew the answer:


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