Me too

Beatrice and I have a collage of pictures on our fridge of couples we love. It’s a mixture of family and celebs which makes a great conversation piece. There are pictures of Beatrice and her dad, and various relatives and friends, interspersed with Elvis and Muhammad Ali, as well as Dr. Who (the 9th and 10th) with Rose. It was the first bit of decorating we did and it remains an evolving piece of art.

The idea came from a quote I read on Facebook which said, the two most powerful words when we’re in struggle: me too. Crisis is a two way street. And it is easy to forget that when I am mired in my own grief.

I am on Facebook far too much most days. Before social networking, I scrap booked my stories, pictures, and quotes. Now I do a lot of sharing electronically. A lot. And then I wait for the responses. So totally narcissistic, I know. (Sylvia Plath and I understand each other for a reason). But I make no excuses. I love the sharing and I also love those me too reactions. So you can ‘unfollow’ me if you like but check in on me occasionally.

This morning I reached out to a friend because I saw she was online. We messaged back and forth sharing our experiences from the past two days. We teach in the same community so we engaged in some teacher talk. We are thinking of each other in this time of social isolation and that means so much.

Yesterday afternoon I received a call from a fellow church member asking how Bea and I were doing and if we needed anything. My heart grew three sizes. We talked about our families, our jobs, etc. We got to know each other a little bit more as I am still new to my church community. It was wonderful.

I talk a lot about my extended family but I have an immediate family to die for. My Tuesday afternoon crisis was assuaged with a timely call from my sister-in-law checking in because she had read my blog about “My saint, Patrick”. We shared each other’s stories and worries (while I drank a rum and coke) and when we were done I could breathe again. The power of me too.

There are different ways to communicate this me too effect. Here is my list for now. It grows on a minute by minute basis:

  1. a message asking, “Do you have your rum?
  2. decorating your home’s outside and windows with pretty things like Christmas lights, hearts, and other homemade items
  3. sharing feel good quotes or cute videos with specific friends or on your general news feed
  4. sharing art lessons and different fun activities with friends through social networking (thank you, Carissa, for the ModgePodge page share xoxo)
  5. Offering help when and where possible
  6. Sharing a smile that conveys your thoughts and feelings at this challenging time
  7. Sending care packages through the mail or leaving them on the back step for a person in need of an extra hug
  8. Conversing with an amazing friend and human throughout the afternoon, through messenger, because you needed them to keep a conversation going
  9. Waving out the window to your neighbor (or maybe even blowing a kiss)
  10. Love, love, love

Now, I have to take you back to our collage of couples on the fridge to share one of my favorite pictures. It is a photo of Lisa Marie Presley and her dad. It often overwhelms me because Elvis is her Dad, her handsome, creative, talented, ofttimes misguided, loving Dad who also happened to be the king of rock’n’roll. And she lost him. Like I lost my dad and Bea lost hers. And I often wonder if she spent a large part of her life looking for him in others. Me too.

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