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Columns

WRITE TEAM: It’s OK to be all right right now

Somehow, I was supposing for an awful September. Blame the media, the prophets, the sense of impending doom that has moved in and grown comfy like a guest who just won’t go home, 2020 has managed to turn even the glass half-full people like myself into skeptics who ask, “Full of what?”

“Something just feels wrong,” I said in March. “You mean like a global pandemic?” my wise guy husband piped back. “Yeah that…” and we both laughed.

We all did so well with 15 days to flatten the curve, but then the uncertainty followed us long past 15 days and we wondered if we’d ever feel normal again, wondered right into September, where I found myself so busy with living that I forgot about 2020.

It took a few odd looks from my fellow supermarket patrons before I realized I had left my mask off. I was flying through the aisles forgetting that COVID-19 was lurking and focused on the wedding our daughter had sprung on us last minute when I suddenly realized how naked I was without that face covering.

“How on Earth did I forget it?”

Embarrassed, I reached into my purse and pulled out the trusted black mask that may have got me kicked out of the same store in 2019, now allowing me to stay. As soon as I hooked it around my ears, I was back in the weird unfolding story of the century, but it stayed with me, the thought that I had forgotten for a moment and how simply light that forgetting felt.

A couple weeks into September, we drove down to marry off our daughter in North Carolina and found a spare few hours to sit by the ocean. The ocean didn’t disappoint, full of life and waves as Hurricane Sally stirred it up from far away, but my attention soon turned to the people surrounding me.

Children were laughing while moms called out for the little ones to come closer to shore. A group of teenagers played music while they danced carefree of cellulite in barely nothing, they were forgetting, too. I thought back to the wedding the night before where because of COVID-19, the ceremony was held by the ocean with bride and groom and both sets of parents as the only invited guests. Before we knew it, a group of fishermen and beachcombers surrounded us, strangers in place of friends and family who would cheer loudly when the bride and groom kissed, celebrating the moment with us. How truly odd 2020 had made many of our lives.

There on the beach in September, I couldn’t help but cry, not because September was the awful month I had expected, but rather that it simply felt all right for once, and perhaps not for long, but for now.

Maybe you feel it, too. I hope you do. Is it the calm before or after the storm? It’s hard to know in 2020. It’s OK to be all right right now.

• Shari Tvrdik is director of special projects and communication for Cup of Cold Water Ministries. She can be reached at tsloup@shawmedia.com.

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