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Merry Whatever

by Peggy Goldtrap
Merry Whatever, time for dropping and flopping after weeks of shopping. We have just a few days to breathe before the riotous joy of 2021. I’m totally over 2020! Aren’t you? My guess is that no one is grieving the good old days that began with baby 2020, January 1.
We could not have imagined the insanity about to be visited on the USA, indeed the whole world. All the pain of the Biblical plagues came out of a devilish bag of tricks. China didn’t use its safety pins and a lazy lab tech let loose a virus that ran wild and wily. Covid 19 is a household name now, a pox on every house, but on January 2020 it was not on our radar screen. 2020 opened with hopes and dreams, a booming economy, highest employment on record, and ground being cleared for new homes and businesses. Nothing could slow our momentum; stop our forward progress; the USA was #1. In the blink of an economy everything changed. I’ve had a hard time adjusting.
I broke my ‘other hip, the good one’ at the beginning of 2020 and had just been released from rehab; was making plans to go back to exercise at the gym, take a vaca, who knows what dream could have come true. Then the rumors began of a Chinese problem; an overwhelming sickness that forced people behind doors and caused mass exodus to the countryside. Slowly but surely with a relentless silence, the sickness spread across Asia, Europe, and into the US. No one understood. No one had comprehended the novel flu. When thousands began dying, the world turned its attention.
I was not patriotic at first. I tried to stay home, but restlessness drove me to chance a visit to the grocery. There was little difference in my mind between food supplies and routine life. For some reason many normal activities, community gatherings, schools, worship, eating out, concerts, family celebrations were deemed unsafe, off-limits, but big box stores, pot and drive-thru liquor stores stayed open amazingly free of contact dangers and viral transfers.
Mask up and move ahead with living. Wash hands while singing Happy Birthday. Clean, wipe off, sterilize everything you pick up. Don’t touch, shake hands, hug, sing, laugh out loud, grieve in groups, or marry with family and friends. People are carriers of a deadly disease and they can spread the illness without awareness. One never knows who is the disease or the agent so ‘just assume that everyone has it and stay six feet away from each other, forever.’
In the middle of the warnings we had the warring political parties with their individual and peculiar sets of rules. The good for the goose isn’t good for the gander. Politically incorrect rules were head spinning, so I’ll by-pass comment although it was sadly amusing to see church attendance limited for safety’s sake, but planned political protests praised and encouraged.
People tried, but people died. Brave, selfless healthcare warriors fought to keep the sickest of sick alive. They are people of time, people of eternal reward. I have read personal accounts by these warriors and felt their fatigue through their emotional descriptions of dealing with death. It’s been a tough year for humanity, for all of us; for some of us the last year on earth.
Here’s a wild idea. On December 31 or January 1 have and enjoy, whoop and holler for the biggest New Year celebration ever. It doesn’t matter that some celebration will be virtual. Celebrate Survival. If it’s all over too soon after the New Year, so be it, but on one day, December 31 midnight, or January 1, celebrate with jubilation the fact that you’re on the verge of viral success and happiness is still possible.
One more time. Twenty-four more hours. Tick tock until it’s over, but not until it’s over. Time waning is still time available to make the changes you only talked about. On January 1 someone will die, but others will be born. Somewhere in the world, bells will ring in mourning; in another place in the world bells will ring at a wedding. Somewhere ground will be turned for a grave; in another place ground will be turned for a homestead. Life goes on. Grab every minute while you’re still hungry and anxious to be filled. Dream the dreams that kept you going at twenty; they don’t die when you’re 80. Revise the dream and make it real. Make plans that many tell you are past and impossible; make them anyway. Begin the novel that only you can write, with authenticity.
A new year is an opportunity to begin again, to put aside the pain that hit every person with awareness of others and the fragility of our lives. We are and were all in this together. We are and will all come out of this together. Goodbye 2020, you got our attention, you’re unforgettable. We got the dark message. Thanks but no thanks. You will not be missed or remembered with fondness.
Welcome 2021 with open arms and high hopes. Pray for the school children. Help the unemployed parents in any way you can. Pray for the safety of our essential workers. Help the community heal by practicing kindness and patience in daily activities. The pandemic has opened multiple doors for those who are givers and healers and comforters.
Now is our time to demonstrate the faith we claim is heaven ordained. God, please continue to bless America.

Happy 2021! Make it memorable.