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Finally. 2021.

Finally. 2021.

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Robin Leach Mug

Robin Garrison Leach

And so a new year begins. Thank God. I’ve tried to avoid writing about the Pandemic; it was a bit like trying to ignore an air horn blaring in my ear.

Robin Writes is entertainment and a way for us all to connect through mutual experiences; my life is neither unique nor special…I am happy to know I share the same memories as many who read me and can relate.

But 2020 has tested us all. We’ve had to stop hugging. Meeting each other for an innocent lunch. Visiting family and friends whose love we desperately needed. Older relatives living in assistance facilities lost that already tenuous connection to life—the precious visits and smiles and pats that remind them how loved they are.

Church services were cancelled, just when we needed to worship our God and share our sorrows, gathering strength through our common faith.

Our televisions and computer screens became horror movies with daily death totals and families ripped apart by grief. Maybe our families were still intact, but the agony of those who lost loved ones made us realize that we could be next.

And the children. Perhaps the most heart-rending affect of this horrible year has been the interruption of routine, companionship, and security that school provides. Friendships were ripped away from kids; hours and days and weeks and months of being at home have affected many of them in ways that will take years to understand and overcome.

We’re trying to get through it all, and the vaccines are coming. We have every reason to be hopeful, and 2021 will surely be a year of recovery.

But we’re not safe yet. The world we knew is forever changed and even after the virus is defeated, we will have a time of adjustment to face.

What do I wish for the new year? I want to hug again. I want to walk near others in store aisles without turning away and avoiding eye contact. I want to be able to touch surfaces and not feel dirty when I see those surfaces being disinfected after my touch.

I’ve never been much of a “lady who lunches”, but I’d love to have lunch with my friend, Sylvia. It’s been so long.

I want to see school buses full of antsy children, laughing and talking and being children. I can’t wait to hear the drama of the playground that my granddaughter tells me about when she visits—tales of boys who chase and girls who change cliques hourly.

I’d love to go to church and sing the songs I love and shake hands with my “pew neighbors”. I want to be able to share griefs and joys with those in my circle of friends again.

Until we all get our chance to be inoculated, we will have to hold onto our dreams and hopes a few more months. We can know, however, that 2021 will be so much better than the year we’re finally leaving behind.

In the meantime, we should take joy in the blessings we have and pray for a better future.

And. I will continue to tell you the stories that give us just a bit of normalcy to cling to. I wish you all health and love and hugs and smiles in this new year.

Your reading keeps me writing, and that’s a blessing to me.

Happy 2021, everyone!

Robin Garrison Leach is a freelance writer and columnist from Quincy, Illinois."Robin Writes" is published in numerous Missouri and Illinois newspapers. Contact her at  robingarrisonleach@gmail.com.

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