Posted in celebrations, family, pandemic

Sliding apart

It was a two word text that sent me into a tail spin/funk. It seems like such a simple question but it’s so complex because, yeah, it’s 2020 and Covid is on the rise. Add to that the fact that everyone has different levels of comfort/risk management and it becomes a loaded question.

So Thanksgiving?

For two days I didn’t respond to my son. Now I’m used to him not replying (he says – if you want me phone) but I suspect he wondered what what up that I didn’t respond. Finally I answered as honestly as I could.

The truth is we are trying to figure out how to make it work and don’t have any answers.

I can’t say I felt a single stitch better after I finally responded. It is weighing heavily on my mind. My now huge circle from teaching, my work circle. My husband’s non existent circle. My son’s work circle, his biking circle and their friends, daughter in law with work x 2 circles. My daughter with her non existent circle and son in law with work circle. Plus the local number increasing. I’m not talking crazy numbers like a few other Canadian cities and provinces but enough.

There are no easy answers. There could potentially be hurt feelings. There could be long faces at or not at the dinner table. Meanwhile my brother and mother don’t understand why I won’t go down there and interface with them alongside my sister and family who are coming for a visit from two provinces away. There could be a slide apart, right here right now, that seems irrevocable. Maybe that sounds melodramatic but family dynamics are strange things.

It might seem like I am airing dirty laundry but I suspect we aren’t the only family facing this holiday dilemma. This sort of conversation is likely being held all across Canada. Well perhaps not in the Eastern bubble as they really do seem to be doing really well but central and western Canadian families need to have this kind of tough dialogue.

We can’t just thoughtlessly have 47 people for a baby christening or 20 people because it’s Thanksgiving. We need to make conscious decisions that may not be popular or easy. But, perhaps, if we give up Thanksgiving we can have Christmas. Worked this spring to give up Easter holidays and get our summer so I am hopeful that the Covid conscious decisions will be made by all.

In the meantime I do like fall and decorating for it as it helps brighten the darker days to come. You may be my only visitors to see my table but that’s ok. I’m thinking our gathering will be outside around a bonfire. No pumpkin pie or birthday cake on the menu.

So tell me what are your thanksgiving plans? Any ideas how to make it feel special even if you are alone?

Bernie

I wanted to record these feelings and the struggles that Covid-19 have brought to the average family. In researching the 1918 Spanish influenza all you can find are death numbers and nothing about the hardship, struggle and devastation that families and communities were going through. Here in my Isolation Chronicles I’m recording what living through the Covid-19 pandemic was like. Perhaps someday, far in the future, someone will read this and glean information about what we live through.

Author:

I have had a love of the written word for my entire life. It's no surprise that eventually I found a platform where I could write. It's random; sometimes funny, occasionally sad, maybe even at times from anger and I lean towards creative photography and hands on crafts. I have a few blogs that high light these interests.

26 thoughts on “Sliding apart

  1. We are just doing our regular Sunday supper with just our kids and my sister. My other SIL are doing there own things as 1 nephew is home from Alberta and another neice is awaiting a new baby.
    I am disappointed that we wont all be together but I am fine with it just being us.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for dropping in and commenting. I appreciate hearing how everyone is handling it. It seems everyone has a different level of interpretation to the guidelines that each government body has come out with.
      I am now 100% no meal at all – perhaps maybe just a walk or some time by the fire outside.

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  2. I gave up on a family Thanksgiving a few years back. I was always the host (and cooked most of the meal) and never felt any appreciation. The year my niece invited herself and her family (her hubby, my other nephew, all their kids ,and her dad) to another SIL’s family gathering (she hosted her side of the family for years – big family also), I felt like it was a slap in the face. My SIL had to have 2 events, her side of the family and then my niece, et.al…. but then didn’t invite us (me & my hubby) either. Yeah, family dynamics are weird. I gave it all up and the past 2 years went to a friend’s house. I doubt will do that as too cold for outdoor dining and we are not in their bubble.
    Hardest thing for me now is not being able to see my mom in person (she is 87). If we travel to see her, there’s risk in picking something up along the way (and we’d need to figure out where to stay!). So I’m doing Zoom and lots of phone connects…. but not being able to see her in person and give her a hug is very difficult.

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    1. Wow — invited herself and 6-8 other people to someone’s house. Wow – yep — family dynamics are not always fun and I can see how you’d feel as you did. Having a quiet holiday, at times, can actually make you more thankful as you can focus. When I’m cooking for 12 I can’t even find my drink!
      Tough about your mom, I feel the same way but obviously my sister doesn’t. Enough said there hey? We could easily travel down as it’s only 3 1/2 hours so no stops even necessary but there are no bedrooms left and we aren’t driving 7 hours in one day for a 3 hour visit. Ah family. Got to love them but don’t always have to like them!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. My little bubble of 3 (me, daughter and her man) are going to his mother and stepdad’s place for our Thanksgiving celebration, and we (the 5 of us) will be dining al fresco, on the deck. It’s supposed to be only 13C on Sunday so we’ll be dressed appropriately for this socially distanced event. I’m hoping there will be a fire and I’m looking forward to it. Covid numbers are extremely low on the island, but we are not taking any chances.

    Deb

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That sounds like a very appropriate plan. We are hoping to do an afternoon meal (served not self serve) outside with a fire going. Right now the forecast is for 14 Saturday and 10 Monday so perhaps we will flip what day we do it.
      Thanks for engaging — it’s great to get a sense of what other bloggers are doing.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Yikes. I thought our son was the only one who did not communicate unless guilted into it. As to Thanksgiving, maybe take out on our back bubble deck with one son and wife. Christmas is a whole other thing, as we just had to tell our Vancouver son he was disinvited until Covid is over. This really hurts, as we just want quality family time. I have a feeling that our celebration may be virtual. Still not ready to take a risk. Stay well and hope we can all find a way to celebrate the seasons as a family. Allan

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    1. No I think millenial guys just aren’t great at keeping in touch as I know a couple of friends who say the same thing. You’ve pulled the plug on Christmas early on but it’s all about how we have to manage our own risk and comfort zone. Can’t say I am happy about my BC family coming to visit my 94 year old mom in Sask but it’s not my call. It is hard because as you said we just want family time but 2020 is about home quality time and staying safe.
      Thanks for stopping by and commenting. Hope you had a good little retreat away.

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  5. My sisters and I are having this exact same conversation. I want to see everyone, I want to host. But I do not want to make anyone ill or make my home ground zero for a group of people requiring to quarantine because someone I know/love unknowingly brings illness into my home. Everyone is going to have to figure it out for themselves, but if we do get together, it will be in quite small numbers; no where near what our “normal” would be.
    Happy thanksgiving to you and yours, whether you are together or apart ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I suspect your normal would be a big group! Your last sentence sums it up — we have much to be thankful for whether we are together or apart.
      Thanks for reaching out via a comment — nice to see you reading and interacting with me here!

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  6. With cases on the rise, I’m not too sure we’re going to get together with family either this Thanksgiving. I think we’re still going to try to make a nice meal just to do something special. I like that you set up some fall decorations to brighten the mood. I should do the same. What a year.

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    1. Yes indeed it has been a strange one but most of us have managed to navigate it safely. For those with other health concerns it’s been way harder.
      I say go for the fall decor! It just feels so cozy and bright. Thanks for dropping in to read and to leave a comment. Happy Thanksgiving however you celebrate. A fancy meal sounds like a good plan.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Yet again, I’m happy I have a small family. In fact, it’s usually just my husband and me on Thanksgiving, unless someone is in town or we get invited to join another family’s celebration. I think you are exactly right in your assessment. Play it safe this year; hopefully next year you can go back to the usual family get together. By being careful, you are helping to guarantee many more family celebrations in the future.
    I haven’t gotten my fall decorations out yet (it’s still in the high 80s here) but you’ve inspired me. Even if it’s just the two of us, I still like to add a little festivities to the house.

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    1. I love the fall decor — it helps me with the seasonal affective disorder and those shorter days.
      We are usually somewhere between 8 and 14 for dinner. If the weather cooperates perhaps we might try to do a served outside meal?? Just not sure at this point. Safe seems better than sorry to have exposed someone to Covid19.
      Thanks Janis for reading and commenting.

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  8. I hear you! I’m willing to take the chance with my health to host my immediate family bubble…but not so willing with outside family, where I don’t know their behaviour. If I’m going to get sick, I want it to be my decision. It’s going to be difficult going forward through these holidays….

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    1. I’m only talking immediate family and our bubbles are too big. You are very right about now difficult a time it is and yet there is still lots to be thankful for. Like the fact that you read the blog and commented. Appreciate it. Happy Thanksgiving.

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  9. Yes! Tough decisions!
    Yes! I am sure many family discussions about this topic!
    We are 18 in our local “family”, of all ages, with each person having other connections, so cannot even imagine what kind of tracing that would entail! But thankfully we are on the “same page”, so we are not gathering. We all sacrifice not just for ourselves, but for all people. The guidelines from the Authorities are out there….so for me it takes away any guilt of feeling like I should be blamed for the decision of what to do. And I respect others decisions. Each person and family have different variables that affect the risk. We are still thankful for much, even though we won’t all be together. Yes I sure hope Christmas will be together!

    Liked by 2 people

      1. I did not make the guidelines therefore I refuse to feel guilty for following them. No way, not buying in for sure! It is definitely much easier when all are on the same page.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Good on you for not buying into guilt. These are very challenging times. We all need to keep ourselves and our loved ones safe — free of guilt or judgement. Thank you for this candid thought-provoking post.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Donna, I have been thinking about and writing this post for about five days and then ran it by my “editor”, aka my other half, before I hit publish. I feel like most people who read it are already taking precautions but I really wanted to record how momentous is feels. Thanks for dropping and engaging in the conversation. What are your plans?

        Liked by 1 person

      4. Great question, Bernie – To be honest, I haven’t thought about it (I seldom plan 8 days ahead anymore). My husband and I have recently caught up with all of our children, grandchildren, siblings and my parents (that’s actually fewer people than you would think…and it was all in small group, careful meetups). Thanksgiving is likely to be just the two of us.

        Liked by 1 person

      5. My off spring live local but my biological family is 3 1/2 hours away. We usually have the holidays planned out based on who will be home to the small town what weekend. Then my kids will some times go to Gramma’s as well when we do. So it’s usually planned well ahead. If we stay local it’s ade more complex by our anniversary and our daughter’s birthday also falling on the weekend. Staying home alone doesn’t sound that bad except for the farm raised 21 pound turkey!

        Liked by 1 person

  10. No truer words: “family dynamics are strange things.”
    Granted we have a few more weeks to plan for Thanksgiving, but I’m going to guess that we, the two of us, will stay at home. We’ll make our own traditional feast, then eat it happily, knowing that we are not accidentally infecting our family with coronavirus by being together. Also, some texting will be involved. Not what might have been, but not bad either.

    Liked by 2 people

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