A Galaxy of Cousins

The last 24 hours have been such a perfect distillation of my life, not just through Covid, but the life I had beforehand and perhaps the life to which I will return.

Yesterday I woke feeing sad and unsupported–literally, since my body has been vehemently protesting my transition back to work, and figuratively, because I am still sad about separating more completely from my family (and, yes, my beau). I went outside to move my car and discovered it had been inactive for so long due to the bum back that it needed a jump. Even my car is sick of supporting itself, I whined. But when I called AAA, the female operator was so unflaggingly empathic–we actually burst into laughter over our middle-aged ailments–that we thanked each other twice before ending the call. And then the mechanic arrived 30 minutes early with a big, weary smile.

As he fixed my car we talked about turning 50–we discovered we had been born only a few weeks apart and had both spent our whole adulthoods in Brooklyn. Only he’s a grandpa three times over already, and his mother died this summer of Covid. My car already fixed, we stood and talked another minute in the sun. He told me of his mom’s big heart and I told him of his own because it was clear as day that it was a like-mother, like-son situation. Then we both cried–so much loss, so much loss.

At that moment–I kid you not–the announcement came through that vaccinations had opened for the 50 and over crew, and I asked for help in securing shots and lo! I got it. Within a few hours I had an appointment scheduled, and in the process, had connected with many friends new and old and felt more of that care I’ve been longing for so deeply.

The truth is I have never been especially blessed when it comes to traditional avenues of support. But when it comes to being kin with the world at large, I am the luckiest girl in the world. We all feel like outcasts in one way or another at some point or another. The beauty of estrangement is it always connects us to a bigger form of love if we let it.

Art: Ralph Fasanella

"All, everything I understand, I understand only because I love."
― Leo Tolstoy