The opening words of Dusty Springfield’s song – Wishin’ and hopin’ and thinkin’ and prayin’ – came to mind as I began this post. Not the bit about planning to get into some man’s arms, although I love the hugs my husband gives me every night …
We all have things we’re wishing and hoping for and have been for more than nine months. All made more poignant at this time of year when families and friends should be together celebrating the light, and love, and hope of our traditions.
What am I wishing and hoping for?
- A visit with our daughter, son-in-law and two small grandsons. The chatter of little voices, the sight of newly missing teeth, the warmth of our daughter’s smile and our son-in-laws teasing humour, the laughter we share, the wonder of three generations being together (four if my mother is there, too).
- Christmas Eve with our son and his lovely girlfriend. Our family tradition is to enjoy a wine tasting followed by open-face sandwiches – something we’ve done as a family for about 20 years now. Ian challenges us with some sort of question about the wines – which one is most expensive, which one is different and why, what country are they from. And we all relax and enjoy. With new lockdown rules just set in place in Ontario, we may not be able to see them, even though they’ve been in our ‘bubble of five’ since March.
- Hugs. Hugs from family, hugs from friends. Warm, fully-embracing hugs like the ones our dear friend Karen gives. The sensation of arms wrapped around one another in greeting or at the end of an evening is heart warming. The lack of that sensation makes me feel like a flower without water. Nine months without hugs.
- Faces. Being outside with most people in masks is like interacting with robots. I’m a person who loves to give and receive smiles, whether it’s the shopkeeper down the street or the barista at Starbucks. During these past months, I’ve come to realize how much we communicate with our faces. How much a friendly face warms the heart. These days, I feel like I’m on a strange planet where showing emotion is forbidden.
- Meals with friends. The other day, my husband and I were talking about how much of our socializing is done over meals. We invite people to our home; they invite us to theirs. We relax, share stories, speculate about the future, plan some sort of outing. We laugh. Gosh, how I miss the impromptu laughter, the silliness, the glasses lifted in a toast to friendship.
- Reading/seeing normal news. News without the words pandemic, or Covid-19, or corona virus leaping off each page, or from each interview. Without the word ‘unprecedented’ clamouring for my attention along with the latest death tolls.
- Going out without worrying. Did I touch something I shouldn’t have? Did I wash my hands soon enough after returning home? Did that woman sneeze too close to me? Is there sweat coming off that runner’s body?
I miss the joy of being carefree, of greeting each day with purpose and optimism. Those days will return. Of that I’m confident. “One day at a time, Mary.” I try to tell myself that every morning.
What about you? What are you wishing and hoping for?
Let me take a moment to thank you for your support and encouragement, to wish you small joys at a time when large ones seem unattainable, and to wish you the love and comfort of family and friends.
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M.K. Tod writes historical fiction. Her latest novel, TIME AND REGRET was published by Lake Union. Mary’s other novels, LIES TOLD IN SILENCE and UNRAVELLED are available from Amazon, Nook, Kobo, Google Play and iTunes. She can be contacted on Facebook, Twitter and Goodreads or on her website www.mktod.com.