Do you remember that old cartoon with the boy with his fingers in the dam trying to stave off it breaking and flooding the whole town? And then another hole bursts open and then another and another until he’s playing Twister holding back the floodgates?
That’s how 2020 has felt–a thousand tiny cracks to fill to hold back the flood that’s threatening the safety and peace of mind for the people I love.
It started with my index finger filling the hole in our hearts when our dog passed away unexpectedly on New Year’s Day. Then there was my thumb and ring finger for school cancelled and no first college visit. My whole fist for the tornado. I moved to my toes for riots, cancelled birthday parties, holidays and vacations. A break-in. Exposure notices and more quarantines. Election unease. Remote work, remote school–remote life. The losses we don’t speak of out loud or even acknowledge yet. All manageable things while I still had appendages left to shove into those holes. I threw more at Christmas than even my normal state of holiday frenzy because I could. I could give them a day of joy and peace in a year that has so far yielded none of that, and it would smell like gingerbread and that dam would hold for another day.
Instead, our city was bombed on Christmas morning.
We watched the news to see where and how bad. What happened and what was going to happen next. Our cell service was out as family members tried to call and check in after they got alerts, and we spent the day distracted, working, worrying, speculating.
Physically, everyone is okay. Not fine, just okay. Because it’s not fine. It’s another hole to fill in this crumbling wall of peace. The bomb wasn’t the biggest explosion of our year but it certainly left more vulnerability of that wall and I’m running out of myself to shove into the cracks.
There’s just one more finger to jam into this collapsing facade.
I bet you can guess which one.