We are living through a pandemic. Hunkered at home with our college student who should be living on a college campus in Kansas and our high school student who should be at school, the ice rink, and track meets.  We are 7 weeks in and the days all seem the same.  We look forward to long walks on the weekend and hope for good weather.  Buying groceries, eating family dinners and watching Netflix series are the highlights of our days.

This situation makes me realize how important rituals and traditions are.

“Rituals give us a feeling of going beyond the ordinary—of having a moment that transcends that, turning events into something special and meaningful.”

 Social psychologist Shira Gabriel

A ritual I enjoy is going to Kansas every Easter to visit my Mom and Dad and sister and family.  This year my Mom lives in a memory unit, and our plan was to meet in Kansas and celebrate with her at my sister’s house.  Having my Mom in a memory unit is hard for all of us but making plans to visit made it better.  I even wrote in her planner that we would visit, and I never thought we wouldn’t be able to travel to Kansas.  Not visiting my parents and sisters during this time is the hardest part of the pandemic for me.

I love the tradition of May Day baskets from my childhood on Marc street in Salina, Kansas.  We would make baskets out of construction paper and put juicy fruit gum and lilacs in them to surprise our friends and neighbors.  My Mom always helped us make and deliver the baskets.  I have continued this tradition although my children have outgrown it.  This year I made 20 baskets and Lily and Nathan helped me deliver them.  The act of giving made me feel closer to my Mom who is one of the most generous people I know.

As soon as safely possible you can bet I’ll be on the road to Kansas!



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