Monday, March 30, 2020

SOL 30/31 & #52Stories 13/52: Hugging in the time of COVID-19

Returning for year nine of writing daily in March with my Slice of Life writer friends! Check out Two Writing Teachers for more slices of life occurring every day in March. 

I gathered our writing group on Sunday for a Zoom gathering. Our prompt was the poem “Where Grass is Pressed” by Helen Frost. After reading the poem, I asked: How have you found places where grass is pressed, places where you can rest and nestle into love in the time of COVID-19?  I muted everyone and we began our twenty minutes of sacred writing time. After writing, we shared our words, our fears, our joys, our tears, and our laughter. It was not easy to leave our gathering, but writing and sharing words was balm for a Sunday morning. 

Writing in the time of Covid-19 – Quick Write
 MI Ward Writing Group, March 29, 2020 

When I left Sara’s home on the morning of March 10th, I was unaware that it would be the last time I would be in her home during March. I arrived shortly after 10, ready to babysit the boys. But Sara, a physician assistant, was on the phone with her employer who decided that she should not come to work because she had a cough. No fever, but a cough. So I stayed just long enough to read the books from the book bag to Jack and headed for home.  I’m not even sure that I hugged everyone goodbye, but I probably did. Because I’m a hugger!

The next time I saw Sara was thirteen days later, on Monday, March 23rd,when she delivered our groceries and brought the lawnmower. She stood on the brick wall outside the kitchen window and we chatted while I unloaded groceries and Lance mowed our two small patches of lawn.
Far too soon, it was time to load the lawnmower back into their truck. As she pulled away, I hugged myself, demonstrating the hug I’d deliver if we could be together without social distancing.

On Saturday, March 28th, we left the Prius at the Park and Ride so Sara can take advantage of a more efficient vehicle while she commutes to a facility farther from their home. (Only last night they learned that the clinic they were supposed to be consolidating with flooded this weekend. So that probably means one more week in their local clinic.)

Back to the car exchange . . . Our plan of action was to leave the car at the Park and Ride because it would be very hard for the grand boys (ages 3 and almost 1) to pull into Grandma and Grandpa’s driveway and not be able to come in. Lance and I were supposed to leave once we parked the car, but we parked across the lot and watched the car. After all, the keys to the car were in the glove box! My son-in-law insisted that no one would want my husband’s twelve year old Prius.

While we kept watch, I hatched a brilliant idea! I called Sara, ensured that we weren’t on speaker, and shared my plan. Once the boys and Will pulled away, we pulled the Rav 4 beside the Prius, rolled down our windows, and had a lovely conversation, at least six feet apart. As we concluded, I hugged myself fiercely so that my daughter, battling this pandemic from the medical front, would know how very much she is loved.


  1. Your slice reminds me of three words that ran along Chapstick tubes that were among the goodies guests at my wife's and my wedding received (emphasis added): *You're* the balm. Your writing, too. Thanks for sharing.

  2. It's physically painful to hold physical distance from loved ones. Emotional pain is even higher in this distance holding situation. Humans are social beings. I wish health to you and your family. I hope your daughter stays healthy in the front line.

  3. Such a beautiful piece, Ramona. My mom and I are doing air hugs (now from more than six feet apart since I read some new research that suggested the actual safe distance right now is TWENTY-SEVEN FEET!!!!!) but I know it's not the same. She's a hugger too, and I think this is especially hard on those for whom physical touch is a love language! Off to read the poem now. Thank you!

  4. What a joyful day it will be when the hugs can be real again... there’s so much love in this slice.

  5. What a nice way to connect. Sometimes it is just important to lay eyes on your loved ones. So glad you are finding ways to connect.

  6. This slice made me cry! All that your daughter is doing! And how you managed to connect with your sweet grandbabies! I'm really missing my mom today, even though I talk to her at least three times every day. I may drive down there and stand below her balcony, just to wave at her!