I Am Here

Today marks two weeks since life turned upside down thanks to the coronavirus. Friday the 13th is when it became clear my husband and I would need to start isolating, although it had not yet sunk in how all-encompassing that would be.

Roger was recently channel surfing and landed on the movie, Guardians of the Galaxy. If you’ve seen it, you know there’s a character who looks like a tree and can only communicate by constantly asserting his identity, “I am Groot. I am Groot.” Sometimes his statement sounds confident and strong. Other times it comes across weak and unsure. It can sound playful, or it can sound annoyed. Since this whole virus-thing started, I hear my own assertion, “I am here. I am here.”

Sometimes it sounds strong. “I am here. You can bend me but you won’t break me.”

Other times it trails off in tears.

Sometimes it screams like a curse to humanity, “How did you let this happen again? Why do you keep making the same mistakes?”

Other times, it whispers like a plea to God, “You put us here. Can’t you help us?”

Sometimes it erupts in laughter when a friend texts me a funny meme.

Other times, it reverberates like the echo of better days.

I am here, I say, as I gaze out the window at an empty street.

I am here, I say, as my far-flung children’s faces appear on the screen as they join our family Skype call.

At times, it sounds like a pep talk to myself. “I am here. I’ve got this. You hear me?”

At times, it’s a reassurance for the people I love, “I am here if you need me.”

One minute, it’s a call to action. “I am here. Put me to work.”

The next, it’s a surrender to stillness. “I am here. Just let me be.”

I am here brimming with creativity and new ideas.

I am here holding on to hope.

I am here for however long it takes to get through this.

I am here for whatever changes this brings.

I am here for the lessons I’ll learn.

I am here to mourn the things I’ll lose.

I am here to experience all the ways I am here.

I am here because you are here.

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