2020 | Coronavirus Chronicles

Coronavirus Chronicles: Precious Proximity

‘Dear friends, who we sorely miss during this time of the coronavirus, bless us in so many ways.’

The essay author, Stephanie Schoumacher

Via Stephanie Schoumacher

The COVID-19 pandemic has brought changes to our lives that are both unique and universal. One of the most common changes is that we all have less contact with our family and friends.

The imposed social distancing has prompted me to reflect upon the blessings our loved ones bestow that perhaps I’ve taken for granted. One such blessing – and a revelation to me – is that friends are a repository of memories.

I recently spoke to my dear friend Eleanor (she’s more like a sister than a friend) and we reflected on some of our times together over the years.

Moments I had long forgotten flooded into my mind’s eye: singing “April Showers” in our colorful tutus with matching umbrellas when we were in grade school; riding in my sister’s convertible Mustang as my sister had to schlep us to our favorite shopping spot, Teens and Juniors; and my mother nicknaming me “Pest” and teaching me how to spell it.

Mom practically taught me to sing “I’m a P-E-S-T, pest” whenever she gave me a look acknowledging that behavior. It’s a memory I suppressed for good reason.

Eleanor told me that she’s been diagnosed with colon cancer that metastasized to her liver.

In telling her that I’m going to check on her regularly, I promised her that I would not be a pest in doing so. Eleanor erupted in laughter as she reminded me of that phrase’s origins.

Dear friends, who we sorely miss during this time of the coronavirus, bless us in so many ways. They remind us of the special moments in life, a most precious blessing.

Stephanie Schoumacher lives in Bethesda and works in public relations.

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