As I write this, it’s April 22, 2020. People around the world have been staying at home to stunt the spread of, or flatten the curve of the deadly coronavirus. We’ve all been bombarded with news reports, daily press conferences from government officials, fake news and news that’s not so fake. At times, I just want to stay in the house, watch videos and hope that the whole thing will go away mysteriously one night while I slumber.
As I think about the year 2020, I realize that years are often defined by what occurs within their calendrical confines. When many of us think of the year 2001, we think of the bombing of the twin towers in New York, 2016 brings to mind the election of Trump as POTUS, the bombing of Pear Harbor conjures up the year 1941 (if we have some appreciation for history that’s more than fifty year past). We’re now into the fourth month of the year 2020. There have been countless events individuals, communities, governments have had to cancel because of the dirge of the coronavirus. At this point, we have no definitive knowledge of when this thing will lessen its dreadful effects on our lives.
My family had several memory generating events on our calendar for this year: a trip to Ghana, West Africa, our annual Fourth of July family gathering with lots of family, another family gathering during the Christmas Holidays are just a few. It’s things like this that give year’s their meaning, their identity. When I think back to the July weekend of 2019, I still feel as though I’m enjoying the family outing we had at my cousin Junior’s spread. It was one of the largest ones we’ve had. There were five generations present. The old folk were relaxing under shade trees in the hot and humid weather conditions, but the kids were running and skipping and having fun to no end. The weather didn’t bother them at all. My mom wasn’t present. She died the year before. Her last surviving sibling was there. I’ve christened her with the moniker, clan matriarch.
As we go through the rest of the year 2020, there will be families all around the world, who will regrettably have to cancel celebrations that would work to define the year. There will be school graduations, anniversary gatherings of all kinds, family reunions, and yes, even going home celebrations of loved ones who will no longer occupy a space at the dinning table. Well, maybe 2020 won’t be the year that wasn’t; however, one thing is certain it won’t be defined by what many of us would rather remember.
I’m old and blessed…hope you will be too.