I think I was raised with a “default to fine” switch. Oh I’m good at worrying about things to be sure: worries about my kids, whether I thanked someone enough for their kindness, big decisions, struggles, etc. But I generally see that “glass half full,” and have a continually recurring thought, “it will all work out.”
So when we headed to Costa Rica for Spring Break and the world was normal I wasn’t worried. Oh there was talk of Corona in the news. But it was so far on the fringe of our consciousness, and blissfully we left on our trip, Dave and I with our two youngest kids, Dave’s sister and brother with their spouses and youngest kids.
Lucy did some amazing things on that trip, and we fell more in love with these people we already loved so much. But those things will have to wait for another day. For today I want to talk about how corona crept in. Because these are times to remember for sure.
I can pinpoint the time when the world changed for us. And more genuine worry started seeping in. We were sitting with this gorgeous view:
Dave was reading the news hot off the press that Harvard was closing it’s doors due to the corona virus, dorms cleared out, everyone being sent home. Our jaws dropped. How could that be happening?? Did they not know this wasn’t that big of a deal? It would pass, wouldn’t it?
And then from there the world continued to unravel.
We drove those windy Costa Rican roads, twelve of us stuffed in a twelve-passenger van, explored all that beauty, did yoga on the beach, watched gorgeous sunsets all with new things filing in like an eerie movie and making our eyes keep getting wider and wider:
There was one night Lucy cajoled us all into playing some games…that night filled with surreal news of two Jazz players confirmed with COVID-19, the NBA season suspended indefinitely, Tom Hanks and his wife confirmed positive, the world tilting strangely.
I went to sleep uneasy because Dave and Claire were supposed to be leaving the next day for her volleyball tournament in Denver (lu and I were staying with everyone else until we had to head to Wisconsin the day after the cousins left).
If they were cancelling the NBA, which was quickly spreading into all other sports, surely they wouldn’t still have those 1,500 teams and expected, 60,000 spectators still meet in Denver? The quarantining was starting with a vengeance and with that many people at one tournament I had visions of someone in that crowd being sick and Claire and her team being quarantined. Stuck in Denver. But the tournament kept announcing it was still a go. Claire’s teammates were supposed to be meeting at the airport in AZ at 5:45am for their fight. We got news just after midnight that the tournament officials had decided to call it quits. Dave and Claire were staying with us in Costa Rica after all.
From there on out every conversation was filled with corona talk, little groups of people hanging by the pool, everyone leaning over their phones with new news streaming in by the minute, dominoes falling in rapid succession: many sports at first just closed to spectators:
Then suspended indefinitely:
Oh makes me so sad for all those kids who have worked their tails off to finally reach their shining senior year in sports to have it all cancelled.
All the BYU colleges sent out these messages:
College graduations cancelled:
(Breaks my heart for Elle and her three cousins…and everyone else who was going to be walking in graduations after all their hard work.)
First only church in certain areas was cancelled, but quickly we got this:
Then school was cancelled too. All of it.
All the while there was worry seeping into my bones about Elle’s bridal shower coming up this weekend, but even more-so the wedding, the reception, a world of unknowns.
At this time I was so antsy about all my college kids, wished to have them right there with me. Safe in a world with the wheels falling off.
But it wasn’t going to do any of us any good to sit wringing our hands all day long, so we enjoyed the opportunity we had to be in that gorgeous spot. There was one night where all of us stood on a beach, the cotton-candy sky taking our breath away, something in all that beauty whispering “it will all work out.”
We played in those waves and watched the sun sink to leave the sky and ocean perfect cotton candy pink, the most gorgeous light I’ve seen, so many people I love right there in one of my new favorite “thin places.”
As far as we knew, my trip to Wisconsin with Lucy (where we go for appointments for her clinical trial) was still on, and I was a little nervous about staying behind our group in a foreign country for an extra night and heading there with the world the way it was, so uncertain. In the back of my mind I figured a cancellation was coming, but still, it was a giant relief when we got a call that they would be sending us her medicine instead.
Now we were on to figuring out our flights home, all jumbled in different ways with so many things cancelled.
Dave and I at first decided that we’d still utilize my extra hotel night we had already bought when we thought lu and I would be going to Wisconsin, and all go home together on Sunday. But we got thinking that last morning…we were both a little uneasy about staying an extra day and about getting home to all that’s awaiting us. And the rest of our group was leaving so Dave found an earlier flight for us. And then found one for everyone else too so we could all travel together (the airlines have been so nice to help with changes). The only catch was that it was an 11:50am flight which meant we had to pack up and leave (waking kids up) within 20 minutes. Yes, you heard that right, TWENTY MINUTES!! (We were far from the airport, had to return the rental van, all that Jazz). You should have seen us all scrambling around trying to throw everything in suitcases and once again cram in that van to get out of there. It was crazy and we definitely had some good “hot dog!” cheers going around as we made our triumphal entry back on the road to travel to the airport. (I’ll have to explain the “hot dog!” business when I post about Lucy’s miracles in Costa Rica.)
Gosh I love those people we got to travel with!
But we still weren’t safe when we arrived at the airport, barely an hour before our flight…long lines, the NICEST gate agent helping us though was a mini miracle though. It seems like we had ten thousand glitches, once trying to get on the plane (random new security check I think because we changed our flight a few times…trying to juggle 12 people with Southwest flights), one getting off the plane in Houston (they warned us over and over again not to forget anything because we couldn’t go back on the flight once we got off..new rule??)…and of course I somehow chose THAT for the one time in all my years of flying to leave my carry-on in the overhead bin (luckily Claire was still getting off so she could grab it for me). Then somehow the tail end of us getting off the flight accidentally got locked in an area (the security lady couldn’t get the door open), as well as a few other conundrums…seriously we were a MESS! But we made our connecting flight and made it HOME.
Felt so good to have Bo bounding around us all in excitement and be welcomed back to this place we love so much. Felt especially good in this time of so much uncertainty. So filled up with gratitude that we were able to slip in that trip under the radar before/during the world turning upside down…one to be deeply remembered forever.
It feels like an eternity has happened since we arrived home. And oh! I have so much more to say. But my time is up, here with so much heaving in our lives here in the desert as I know it is heaving for all those around us. First and forefront on our minds at the moment is the wedding and everything surrounding it. There have been times of worry all mixed up with pure joy. Most of our college kids are home and I look around at them, an unexpected togetherness, my heart overflowing, and trying to remind myself once again, “it will all work out.” Not sure how or when, but trusting in a higher source amidst all this uncertainty.
Sending out lots of love from here in the desert to everyone out there trying to sort all this out.