This will not be my usual post. It won’t be full of humor or “teachable moments”, but, instead a blog that puts 2020 to “bed” as we turn the proverbial calendar to 2021.
The year started off with such hope and promise. While tensions over elections were predicted to be high – no one really grasped the enormity of impact that could be made by a microscopic terrorist that was to ravage our globe. During 2020 Covid 19 became the devil that walked among us – everywhere – 24/7.
I stopped sleeping last January. I know the exact day that I started to only rest for about 4 hours a night – it was the day our daughter flew China Air to Asia. Her wanderlust took her on a great solo-preneur journey throughout Cambodia, Singapore and Bali. But, I had heard about this global terrorist – then called CORONA – and was petrified that the two would meet up. Thankfully, our daughter traversed Asia without crossing paths with CORONA.
By the time she returned to the US, the now termed “Covid 19” was at our shores. But, just a “few cases” – mostly isolated. People seemed to not take it seriously or thought it was “fake news”. Nor did we quite expect that within a few months in to 2020 this disease would take hold of the US from coast to coast and across the globe.
I equate my March birthday with QUARANTINE. At first it was a novelty. Happy hours every night on the street – physically distanced, of course. People stirring their creative juices, pivoting their careers and learning how to assume the role as their child’s teacher. Zoom became a noun and a verb in March – meaning to meet online and not to physically race past another person or vehicle.
By summer we thought we were going to get “sprung” and travel. Some folks did. Some stayed put. I continued to be one of those people who did’t venture more than a mile or five from home.
I discovered this past July that I have Covid 19 anxiety. Every time I see people in crowds I start to sweat and my heart races. I have left a store with a basket full of items upon hearing a single person across the store cough – once. No joke – I literally ran out of the store and to the car at a speed that may have broke my personal best running time due to a single little cough. That my friends is situational anxiety. I got it. It ain’t fun.
In August I started a new virtual job – pivot, pivot, pivot! I pivoted so many times and in so many ways that I found myself becoming dizzy. But, my new job is really good and replaces the dire straights I was feeling with trying to make my “old gig” work financially and spiritually – especially during a pandemic. (So, this may be the 2020 silver lining). While I still work in social media from time to time, I am really enjoying helping kids and their families as a School Psychologist.
By fall I realized that 2020 would end but Covid wouldn’t. I must admit the sadness started to really drift in to my psyche when it hit me like a brick the cumulative toll that 2020 took on so many of my family and friends. People had become seriously ill. People had died. People had lost their jobs, relationships and for some – hope. Covid was indeed the name of the new Satan. It had no mercy. It had no rationale. It was just the devil. It took too much from so many.
Then today happened. The devil took someone else. Someone I knew and admired. Her name – Dawn Wells, and on this second to last day of 2020 she died due to complications from Covid 19. You may know her as Mary Ann from the TV show, Gilligan’s Island, but, I knew Dawn for herself – a great person. Dawn and I met several years ago at the premiere for a web-series directed by the very talented, Steve Wishnoff, and starring her called, Life Interrupted. My “assignment” at the premiere was to snap some photos and “do” some social media postings. My goal was to at least introduce myself to Dawn – and I did. I snapped the photo below, and several others, and that was the start of our first “meet and greet”. She invited me to sit next to her and we chatted for what seemed like quite a long time. We talked about her work with the awesome ensemble cast and crew of the series. Then we chatted fashion, how great she looked in the color she was wearing, and how I could never don an outfit in that hue of yellow. We gabbed, we laughed, and we said good-bye. I didn’t know it then – but we would cross paths again.
Life Interrupted also was my pick for opening the San Pedro Film Festival (SPIFFEST) in 2017 – where Dawn and I met up again. I was helping put together the festival and thought it would be fun to celebrate the opening night with a party. Dawn attended and again we spent quite a bit of time talking and sharing funny stories. She was a huge “trooper” as she wasn’t feeling her best that evening – but you would never have known that!
Dawn impressed me as a consummate professional and genuinely an amazing person. I didn’t know her well – but I was glad we had an opportunity to meet and share some laughs. She was indeed very special.
Today, the news of Dawn passing came to me via text as I was leaving the dentist office. That was it. 2020 finally got to me. I broke. I cried all the way to my car and then the whole drive home. It was a sucky day.
Then this happened. A sunset. A glorious sunset with random formations of clouds and blue skies peaking through. I noticed that in the photo a little glimmer of yellow – perhaps nature’s tribute to Dawn?
If nothing else, the sunset reminded me that there is a lot wonderful days ahead. We just need to have patience, grit, and hope.
See you in 2021.