A Year Later…

I’ve lived with my family for a year. And oh what a sweet year it’s been!

Everyone is remembering how we all started our “two weeks so slow the spread” a year ago; some with fondness of recalled Tiger King binges and whipped coffee and daily walks, and others with the frustration of seeing our normal lives vanish.

The first days of lockdown, I think I actually had the dreaded virus. Tests were scarce, I thought I had strep but my doctor wouldn’t test me for it and just kept prescribing antibiotics that didn’t work. Schools had closed, but most other jobs went on. I was a zombie and my then fiancé suggested I bring my daughter’s stuff over to his house and we could camp out for the two weeks of quarantine. I slept for the first 24 hours and he took the couch. And as I got better, and we remained trapped in the same house, we didn’t want to see an end to our living arrangement and decided to bump up the wedding from August to April.

The rest is history and has been, without a doubt, the best year of my life. But here are a few of my favourite memories from March and April 2020.

A year ago, my oldest called me “Mommy” for the first time and I felt my heart grow two sizes.

A year ago, I started routinely cooking again after having survived mainly on Starbucks food from work.

A year ago, my husband and I had a Lord of the Rings marathon and I cried through much of it. We would snuggle on the couch until he kissed me goodnight and sent me upstairs to bed.

A year ago, we sat on FaceTime with our pastor and his wife and talked about moving our wedding up, gleefully planning out what a livestream ceremony would look like.

A year ago, we started homeschooling. There was virtual school for the girls a couple hours a week, but for the most part, Robert and I took the helm on their education.

A year ago, I drove through strangely empty streets from my parents’ house to my husband’s house to move all our stuff, trying to evade the watchful eye of the police as I felt extremely guilty for being out of my house.

A year ago, I went into Walmart amongst all the panic buyers to purchase some flowers and tulle to decorate for the wedding. It was weird. Masks weren’t even a thing yet. Some people were wearing them, but others weren’t. We were being told NOT to buy them to save them for essential workers. There was no toilet paper or milk or soap or hand sanitiser or even toilet bowl cleaner, but I walked out of there with white tulle and ribbon and the tune I’d be playing for my wedding march ringing through my head.

A year ago, we painted the girls’ room. My parents came and helped. The two girls, still only children at this point, were excited, but a little sceptical. I told them how much I loved sharing a room with my sisters and they both gave me very very skeptical looks, neither quite sure they were ready to make their best friend their new sister. Now they can’t go anywhere without the other.

A year ago, we broke the girls of crippling screen addictions. We suddenly weren’t single parents anymore! We weren’t on survival mode and we were able to take full ownership of our parenting. Too much screen time was ruining our girls. We switched to books and games and now they sleep better, eat better, and are just overall more healthy.

A year ago, I was beaten very soundly in Scrabble and still let this man marry me.

A year ago, dozens of friends from the church planned without my knowledge to surprise us with a car parade after our wedding. It was so beautiful!

A year ago, we were given our first masks as a wedding present. And it was cute and quirky and I tried to make the best of “Apocalypse Fashion.” I didn’t know how exhausted I’d be by end of summer. But we had quite a few laughs over those first masks!

A year ago, we thought the world would go back to normal by Fall. We were optimistic about the “two weeks to slow the spread,” and really believed it would be two weeks or maybe a month. We were cautious, we followed all the rules, we definitely didn’t even complain because we saw it almost as a blessing that allowed us to get married sooner. A year later, we’re a little burned out and pessimistic that the world will ever return to normal, but at least we have each other!

A year ago, the entire world flipped upside down. But oddly enough, our world found stability. Two little girls who had known sickness, loneliness, stress, and grief found sisters and two parents. Two single parents who had faced two very different, but equally hard situations found happiness. Four broken hearts that had all been hurt in one way or another finally started to heal. The world may have broken, but our family was fixed.

I do hope that the world balances out someday. But I’m glad that God has worked out even these bizarre and troubling circumstances to protect and sustain our family! What a great year it’s been!

March 17, 2020– Robert teaches the girls at home
March 20, 2020– Mommy and Two Daughters
March 2020– Masks suddenly became a thing
March 2020- Learning to be sisters
April 2020– Painting the girls’ room a week before getting married

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