Memories – Melissa F.

“Sometimes you will never know the value of a moment until it becomes a memory.”
~Theodor Seuss Geisel

As a preschool teacher, I am very familiar with the works of Dr. Seuss, but this is one quote of his that I remember often. Whenever I write, I, like most people, relate everything to my own life, even if I’m creating fictional characters. Quarantine and the recent global pandemic that we are facing have unquestionably affected every single individual, from young to old in some way. We miss our families, our jobs, our friends, our routines…..the list goes on and on. There is talk of a “new normal”, the very concept of which terrifies those of us who hate change and liked things as they were. The fear that we will not be able to resume our lives at the same level of social activity to which we were accustomed consumes many of us, at least partially. One cannot even turn on the TV without seeing the frightening state of our country, our leaders, and our entire world. However, I have been choosing to look beyond that, not a choice born out of choosing ignorance, or a choice born out of lack of concern that we will never be the same. You see, I have also been seeing some things that fill me with more hope and joy than I have seen in years. I see families spending time together. Personally I have not seen my Dad play a board game in 15 years, yet since we have been quarantined, every Sunday evening is game night at the Fantoni’s, with some members of our family joining virtually. I cannot tell you the last time (excepting The Muppet Christmas Carol, a Christmas Eve tradition) that I watched an entire movie with my sister and parents, yet we do that almost weekly as well. I have seen virtual baby showers, graduations, birthday parades, and an outpouring of gratitude for our First Responders. I have seen people appreciate our essential workers and treat them with more respect and kindness than they would have otherwise thought to do. I have seen our gardens flourish, people crafting, creating, learning, and improving themselves. I have seen people putting their concern for the well-being and safety of others before their own. I have seen teachers (shout out to my team) finding creative ways to teach and create amazing programs that will inevitably last beyond quarantine. I am the “annoying” one in the family that is always forcing the family pictures. I will not take no for an answer and insist on them. And I always will. Because someday, when the moment passes, and all you have left of something or someone is a photo, I promise you that you will not remember the fact that everyone was grumpy or annoyed about taking it. You will treasure the memory that you can hold in your hand and you will always look back at it fondly. Like Dr. Seuss reminds us, protect your memories. Cherish them, realize how important these moments are when you are actually in them. For years we will look back on this time and, though it has not been without its challenges and setbacks, I hope we remember a time that our families grew closer, bonded by the universal struggle we are all experiencing. I hope that we continue to be exceedingly grateful to those who have been on the front lines of this battle and continue to value them. While I know not every moment of this has been easy or happy, I hope that we have all been able to find a way to treasure those good things that have come out of this, to celebrate every little victory and happy moment along the way. Because this will not last forever. And when it ends, I hope that we all have a little mental book of the moments we appreciated and would not have experienced if it were not for this pandemic

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