During the Fall and Spring semesters, I live on Rowan University’s campus—I actually just moved out of my apartment at 220 Rowan Boulevard, which is sad because I loved that place. Right now all Rowan students are being asked to move out unless they have nowhere else to go—but I came home every weekend. I came home every weekend to make sure everything at home was stable and because my work didn’t get done at school while my roommates vedged out on Saturday and Sunday.
Previously, when I came home on either Thursday night or Friday morning, my mom would either be home or working at a nearby elementary school. A few years back, my family life looked different. There was my mom, dad, sister, and I; we were a happy nuclear family, but after my dad passed away in 2015, the structure of the family fluctuated. My sister and I had a falling out resulting in my mom and I living alone in our house.
I imagine everyone’s family dynamic is changing since the pandemic and stay-at-home order went into effect on March 20th, 2020. Good changes and bad changes, both are relevant. As I write this, an article from CNN went up 10 minutes ago about Domestic Violence Website Surging in Visits. Domestic violence is up. People are trapped with their abusers, according to WBUR. People are in danger. People are getting injured. People are getting trapped. These are casualties of Covid-19.
I feel almost bad for being in a good situation. My mom and I, along with our 3 guinea pigs, are living a good life; warm food most days, tv marathons, and sharing news on Covid-19. My mom, not being an essential worker, is spending her days on meetings and coming up with ways to practice speech with her students (she’s a speech therapist). This week, she’s actually on Spring break, and yesterday was Easter. We couldn’t really do anything for the holiday, but she made me an easter basket with candy from the grocery store! It was thoughtful. And we fed our guinea pigs special treats! This isn’t the first Easter we’ve had to improve during.
When I was younger, I battled a string of pancreatitis bouts, which is when the pancreas gets inflamed. I was hospitalized every month for four months
When I was 8th grade, I battled a string of particularly bad episodes of pancreatitis, a condition when the pancreas gets inflamed and swollen from an over production of pancreatic enzymes. It attacks itself. It’s extremely painful. I still battle the illness with a total of 12 hospitalizations behind me, each requiring strong painkillers (morphine, nubain, dilaudid, etc) and hydration. I’ve actually been battling the need for hospitalization during this pandemic, terrified of going to the ER, more of that on future blogs.
During one of those awful hospitalizations, I was high as a kite on painkillers (I was only 13 years old and those painkillers left me out of my mind). It was Easter Sunday in 2011 and I remember hearing hospital volunteers voluntarily raising voices and spirits; people from a local church were going door to door giving out Easter baskets to all the children in the pediatric wing! I remember someone coming in and giving me an basket with a bunny face on it’s side, filled with candy (which I couldn’t eat at the time) and other goodies.
The next Easter ruined was when my mom was hospitalized in 2018—this was post-crisis, after my dad’s death and after the falling out with my sister. It was just me Easter morning, and to be quite honest, I remember little of it. I went to my Aunt’s house for Easter lunch/dinner with all my immediate family. It was nice, but the whole time I had an empty feeling—when your whole family is gone, a depression tends to linger, like dust on an old VHS tape.
So, the current easter wasn’t as bad as it could have been. Thank god, neither of us were in the hospital. Our ecosystem seems stable at this moment, but things always change, something always happens, there’s always a bump in the road, a hiccup of reality, a zit on the figurative face of our collective cosmic being, something always near.
Otherwise, me and my mom will occasionally listen to music while bringing in groceries or making dinner. And we bring the guinea pigs from room to room to let them join in the happiness.
Not much has changed with our relationship, but that doesn’t mean exciting and interesting things aren’t happening!
While I am taking time with entries and starting out slow, there is much happening here which should be documented for the sake of my family, the sake of my sanity, and the sake of my security