All dressed up with nowhere to go….


This week in May has represented many life affirming occasions starting with Mother’s Day last Sunday, my birthday on the 12th, and a number of friend’s celebrating their May birthdays. A dear younger friend celebrated the birth of her daughter on the 13th.  I woke up this morning with images of mom, dad and a new baby girl in her arms. Parents greeting their newborn with masks on was a striking image but one that did not surprise me…our new normal. Our new reality. Life continues. This beautiful new baby girl’s middle name is Grace which speaks volumes…

Another trip around the sun in 2020 means something very different than it usually would. I was thinking about how we will mark this period of time when we share our stories and talk about this time in our history? I suspect our point of reference will be for many years to come… before the corona virus or after the virus?

I decided to get “dressed up” to celebrate the day of my birth. No festive dresses required these days, but I made the effort to wear jeans and not sweatpants. I stepped up my wardrobe game this week.  Going through my closet I came across an item I had purchased in February for the opening of my solo art show this spring. Tags were still on the article of clothing as neither the opening nor the show happened and doubtful it will.

I was grateful to Zoom with my adult children on Mother’s Day and my extended family on my birthday. It was exciting to see the names appear on the computer screen as members joined the virtual party. We had a small flurry of invites going out just before my birthday Zoom as more members wanted to celebrate with me. I was truly touched. Our family dynamics have not changed in this age of pandemic social distancing. We still tease one another and are reluctant to let anyone get away with anything.  We know each other so well.  The difference being our banter is more virtually related as someone is not understanding they are still on “mute” we signal, gesture and giggle until they understand and fix it.  Family fun 2020…

 The details of my family’s love for me was not lost over the internet. My sister used a painting of mine as her screen identification touching my heart before even a single word was said. She shared an image of me as a baby being held by her while our dapper brother looked on. A moment in time, framed. The juxtaposition of my family members virtually “framed” on our Zoom call struck me in a poetic way.  We laughed and joked about the absence of images of me growing up. I was the third child albeit the baby, but images are scarce. The love was plentiful just minimal documentation of my childhood years. I do know that this birthday I felt their love and embrace just that much more. 

I heard from many friends on FB especially running club friends from over the many years posting lovely birthday wishes which I will be eternally grateful for. There is something about running, the many miles we travel together, and the many conversations shared…wonderful!

I don’t spend much time on Facebook anymore for a variety of reasons, but I did spend more time on Tuesday than usual.  As I scrolled a bit through the many posts and news feeds, I was alarmed to see a post questioning the number of COVID related deaths and another post from the same account with a “pro-life” message. My heart grew heavy because how can one profess to be pro-life yet selectively choose not to love or care about the many lives lost due to the coronavirus?  How do they not count? People have every right to believe what they choose to believe but our beliefs cannot be convenient to a cause.

Tragically the number of lives lost to this virus is most probably greater than reported. Doubtful we will ever really know the extraordinary number of lives lost due to a lack of testing and people that may have passed away at home.  Each life, each human being, each American that perishes during this horrendous pandemic is worth our respect and sorrow. To politically question the many lives lost diminishes and disrespects our innocent fellow Americans that are now forever gone including…children, mothers, fathers, grandparents and so on…

 We are all in this together, no one is without risk…

Follow the science…

Author: Elizabeth Ricketson

A graduate of Providence College with a BA in English, Elizabeth Ricketson has always had a love of literature and the fine arts. Elizabeth’s essays focus on life experiences and life in Vermont.

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