We’re still in the midst of this crazy pandemic. When the world first heard of Covid-19, I don’t think anyone could have guessed where it would go, what it would become, and how it would change our lives so dramatically and drastically.
We left school on Friday, March 13 for what we thought would be two weeks. Very quickly two weeks became three, then May 2, and it is now May 18 and we are still under a stay-at-home order. This week a few places started opening here in New Hampshire and other states have started opening as well with varying degrees of success. Texas started reopening and almost right away there was a surge of new cases. New York was hit very badly, California, and just to our south, Massachusetts.
What has it been like? Hard. REALLY hard. The girls and I have been doing everything we can to stay safe and healthy. We wear masks when we go to the store. The girls don’t get to see their friends unless it’s through Facetime, Zoom, or Google Duo. We had a couple of “social Distancing” visits with some of their friends. They have Zoom classes or just do their work through Google Classroom. They watch videos that their teachers post either of themselves or to explain the day’s concepts. If one of them is struggling with anything, I can only do so much to help. (8th-grade math is out of my reach!) Sometimes they’ll ask each other or their friends but I encourage them to talk to their teachers. I get that because I’m there too.
As for me, wow. What a crazy first year for me. I found out right after this started that my contract was not being renewed. I wasn’t totally surprised. I wasn’t happy about it, it wasn’t the way I wanted it to go but I’ve come to terms with it and I will move on and find something else. In the meantime though, I still have to teach my classes. It was another learning curve, finding the balance of the right amount of work to give. Keeping students involved and engaged. That’s been tough. Some have been great. Others have done absolutely nothing the entire time. We’re almost done though. Only two more weeks of remote learning. I think I have another two weeks after that before I’m done for good.
I’ve already updated my resume and starting to look for the next position. I know what I want, so I just have to put it out there to the cosmos and SEE the vision to make it a reality. I learned a lot this year about myself and what I need to do to be more successful. (Problem #1: I am too laid back and need to be more firm and definitely more consistent!)
So back to life right now. I think I’ve mentioned Dixie before. My sweet beautiful Boxer, Dixie. I have been worried about her for a while. Her health was declining: she was deaf, her bottom teeth had fallen out, she was very picky about her food but drank water like crazy. She would be 12 in July, very old for a Boxer. We had to take her out multiple times during the day, and sometimes even in the middle of the night. She started having accidents in the house on a regular basis, something she had NEVER done before. The girls and I knew her time was coming and over Easter weekend, I really thought that was it. I cried so much that weekend, I was just so torn about what to do. She pulled through that one though and I breathed a very small sigh of relief. Unfortunately, on the Friday before Mother’s day, things went bad again. She was bleeding and it wasn’t her heat. I did a quick online search and found something called Pyometra, a uterine infection that is life-threatening unless treated surgically. Now, normally I do not advocate looking up symptoms because you will find the worst. This was the worst thing I could find and unfortunately, I eventually found out I was right. I called a local mobile vet but under the strange circumstances of life right now, she couldn’t be seen. Based on what I was saying, she recommended I take her to Urgent Care. They saw us right away and I made the incredibly hard decision, with the girls’ help and consent, to let Dixie go. The girls waited out in the car while I went in with her. It was easy and peaceful for her, she went to sleep and started snoring loudly as she always did. Somehow, that made it easier for me. But, oh boy…did I ever ugly cry so badly! I’m sure it wasn’t anything the doctor hadn’t seen before. Then it was over. My Dixie was gone. Her heart and soul live on through us. We miss her so much. It’s been more than a week now and I still walk around the living room expecting wet spots where she peed. I don’t get woken up in the morning with her kissing my hand or crying to go out. She’s not sitting RIGHT IN THE MIDDLE of the walkway.
I’m happy and grateful that we had the last two months at home with her. She had us all to herself. (Okay, yes, we have the cats too) I don’t know what it would have been like for her if we had all still been going about our normal day to day life. Most days we left at 7:00 in the morning and didn’t get home until at least 4:00. But her last days got to be spent with us here with her. That made the decision somewhat less painful. I miss her so much but I know in my heart, it was the right thing. Do I wish it could have been different? Of course, but that’s not how life works. You work with what you have been given.
So, we’ll see how things go from here. What is the new normal? It won’t be the old normal probably ever again. We’ll just have to wait and see and adapt.