By Cheryl Smith
Birthdays are special times, for many. Then there are those who are celebrating alone because of COVID-19. During these times when social distancing should be practiced, some are paying heed; while others are doing their own thing like they don’t have a care in the world. Thanks to the video conferencing platform, Zoom, birthdays and special occasions are being shared around the world. Last week, I thought about my mother as I attended two Zoom birthday calls.
It was especially endearing to hear special stories about Mrs. Jean Mackey, who turned 90, and Dr. Froswa Booker-Drew, who hit the 50 mark. My mother’s date of birth is September 10 and I would really love to be able to look into her eyes, hear her laughter and share precious memories. On those Zoom calls, there was a lot of laughter, nice stories and some tears. There was dancing, singing and praying.
Which brings me to my truth.
These are some challenging times. As I listened to folks sharing their love for the women of the hour, it was heartwarming to hear their expressions. In recalling other birthday parties I’ve attended over the years; the ones I have been attending lately have been more emotional and for some reason, it could be COVID-19, people are going deep and revealing more of their inner feelings. What a beautiful scene to witness.
COVID-19 is making us realize what has been our reality all along, we just didn’t internalize it. With over 26.6 million infected and 875,000 dead worldwide; we’ve had to do some reckoning. At Dr. Booker-Drew’s Zoom Party, the Rev. Donald Parish Jr. had a message I hope will also resonate with you. He said, “always check in” and “let people love you.” Are you guilty of closing yourself off from the people who want to check on you or give you love? Rev. Parish said, “When you say no, you’re blocking our blessings.” Let people love you and you in turn, give love.