From the Children’s Ministry….

With Covid cases rising around most of the country, I have heard several people lament that Thanksgiving and Christmas will be very different this year. I confess that I have not been that upset about giving up large family gatherings this year as I learned the hard way just what this virus can do.  

However, when Carlton made the statement last Sunday that Christmas wouldn’t be the same this year without our Elf Workshop and spend the night party, I felt a sadness that I haven’t felt before in the knowledge that things can’t be the same this year.  I grieve the things that I have missed with the Parkway Kids. That grief is compounded when I think about the children who would experience those events for the first time and the group that I have worked with in one way or another since their birth who would be participating in them for the last time.  

Knowing exactly how bad Covid 19 can be, I am confident that giving up certain traditions is absolutely necessary. I will do everything I can to try to find safe alternatives to our favorite seasonal activities. I promise that when this pandemic is over, the children and I will have a party to end all parties to celebrate the return to normal!

In the meantime, as Thanksgiving approaches, I will try to just be thankful for the blessings we do have. 

I am thankful that we are finally able to have worship together outside and socially distanced on Sundays.  Zoom has kept us together remotely, but nothing is as good as being together. The children have grown so much since we were last together in March. I feel so blessed to see them in person and to talk and laugh with them again.

I am thankful for the time to do things at home that I never made time for. Kristi and Jodie talked me into joining a 30 day yoga challenge on Zoom when the pandemic began. On most of those mornings, they heard me say, “I hate yoga.” After the 30 days were up, my sister-in-law and I continued to do yoga together 3 mornings a week. I now love yoga and look forward to it rather than dreading it. In fact, I used some of the breathing techniques while I was in the hospital to get my oxygen levels back up when they dropped. It helped me get deep breaths when my lungs felt like they were ready to explode. So, thank you, Kristi and Jodie, for encouraging me to try yoga in the first place!

I am thankful for my family. Dave should win an award for being son-in-law of the year.  He took care of Mom all by himself (while recovering from Covid himself) while I was in the hospital. Believe me when I tell you that it was not easy! This time of isolation has not been good for my mother; she has deteriorated physically, and mentally since this all began. I am also thankful for my cousins and close friends who checked on me every day and were my cheerleaders when I was discouraged.

I am thankful for the quality of medical care that we have here in Duluth. The doctors, nurses, techs, respiratory staff, cleaning staff, radiologists, and lab techs are literally risking their lives every day to care for Covid patients. It is a lonely battle and they do everything they can to make up for the fact that your family must stay away.  They truly are heroes.

I am thankful to be alive. When I read about Covid now and the progression of the disease and the treatments that are given at each stage, I realize how fortunate I am to still be here.  Things could very easily have gone in a much different direction for me. I believe with all my heart that your prayers are the reason I am writing this today.

I am thankful for my Parkway family.  Not only did you pray for me, you fed my family when I couldn’t and then you fed Dave and me when I got home.  I love you and I am so thankful for each of you!

Holidays this year may be different, but this will not last forever. Celebrating with family remotely with a smaller turkey and less stuffing is far better than having regrets if someone gets sick because traditions couldn’t be put aside for a year. I spent seventeen days in July wishing I had stood my ground on social distancing. I hope you will all celebrate in a safe way this year so that you will not have that experience.