Publisher Column: Step One is Showing Up

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As you probably know by now, I’m a real “look on the bright side” kinda gal and, thanks to COVID, it’s been a little more difficult than usual to find those sunny spots. Not to say there haven’t been any. I’ve certainly found some opportunities at home to let the sunshine in, but when you’re a people person like me, the isolation can be a challenge! 

One of the most challenging things we’ve seen during this crisis is when there are medical situations requiring hospitalization for family or friends…and because of the virus, they have to be alone. I never thought when our first grandbaby was born that we would be on video chat and not sitting in the waiting room. Being unable to be at the hospital with an ill family member or friend is heartbreaking because, “that’s what we do,” right? When family or friends are in the hospital or going through a tough time, we SHOW UP. Sometimes we are showing up for the patient; sometimes for the rest of the family–but we show we care by being there. COVID changed that. And I admit, I am not happy about it. 

However, COVID has also resulted in folks figuring out some very cool and creative ways of “showing up.” One of my dearest friends, JoAnne Holly, is battling cancer. Now, JoAnne will tell you that God is battling, and she is along for the ride…that’s one of the many reasons I love her. Jo and I were maids-of-honor in each other’s weddings. We understand what it means to “show up;” we’ve been doing it a long time, and it has been hard to be so distant. 

JoAnne’s husband Mark called me and wanted to do a little something “special” to celebrate the end of Jo’s first round of chemo. We schemed and planned a little…made some phone calls…and decided to have a little “drive-through” parade on their way home from the hospital. I was once again reminded how special our community is when the cars just kept coming, and parking, and waiting. Waiting in the heat so they could celebrate with, and love on, my friend as Mark drove her up and down the rows of cars with people who were “showing up” with signs and balloons and air-blown kisses while socially distancing. 

We might not be able to show up like we once could, but this sure drives home the old saying, “Where there’s a will, there’s a way.” Wish you could show up for someone? Get creative. I’m betting you’ll figure it out. I love you, Jo. 

Until next time, 

~ Karen 

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