The Emotional Work of a Triple Pandemic

Dear Friends and Family,

In my last letter to you on September 29, I said: 

First, I’m going to rest. And then, I’m going to get back up and get back in the fight—not just for me and mine, but for all of us. More on that later.

I did not expect later to be two months later. 

But that’s how it is with a triple pandemic of COVID, climate disasters, and white supremacy—everything takes more time, more effort, and more emotional work.

So, what have I been doing over the last two months? Vacillating between rage at the injustice of these pandemics and gratitude for the unexpected blessings.

First the rage:

I am not grateful for this pandemic. 

I am not grateful for closed schools, lost jobs, empty bellies, and cold homes. 

I am not grateful for loved ones dying alone away from their families.

I am not grateful for the fires, the smoke, or the drought.

I am not grateful for Amazon or Apple or Google or FaceBook. 

I am not grateful for our current president or senate majority.

I am not grateful for the murders of unarmed Black men.

And now the gratitude:

I am grateful for the people, churches, and organization who stepped up to feed the hungry, welcome the stranger, clothe the naked, care for the sick, and visit the imprisoned.

I am grateful for the white people in our neighborhood who come to our house every Thursday night to name our internalized racism and practice fighting against white supremacy in our own lives.

I am grateful for the people on Rampart Street and in the Rampart Resistance political group who show up for events like Michaela’s 21st birthday and the celebration of Joe and Kamala’s election.

I am grateful for the people in two different communities who opened their arms and welcomed us in: Ananda Martial Arts and Homies Empowerment Freedom Store

I am grateful for my daily writers’ group.

I am grateful for this unexpected time with our adult daughter.

I am grateful for our jobs, warm home, and good food.

I am grateful we are healthy, safe, and loved, and I hope you are, too.

Until next time (which will be much sooner)…

Love, Leslie