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  • Betty Girardeau

Announcing New Christmas Memories


We have memories of a lot of Christmases. But I think the Christmas of 2020 will be one to go down in history for all or most of us. Last year this time we were just beginning to hear of an outbreak of some new kind of virus in Wuhan, China that apparently was sweeping that city and causing a lot of concern. Little did we know that just a few weeks later it would begin to be found in other countries of the world and began spreading like wild fire, ultimately altering the lives of people all over the world. A man who has studied pandemics and plagues throughout history was being interviewed on the radio yesterday while I was driving to North Carolina. He commented about how lucky we have been this time to have found a vaccine so quickly to help counteract this virus. The plague, he said, lasted for over 1000 years and the Black Death lasted for 500. Other pandemics or plagues, like smallpox, have been of shorter duration, but literally wiped out whole populations. He was asked how long he thought it would take for us to get back to "normal" from this one. He said that it would likely be two to three years, much like when there was the Spanish flu in 1918, whose affects did not dissipate until the "Roaring Twenties" really got rolling. If I have learned anything this year, it is to take each day as it comes and make the most of it. I can still have dreams and make tentative plans to go places and do special things, but life is a lot better if I am patient. As they say, "This, too, shall pass." For now I am experiencing a very different Christmas from any other in my life. I am sharing it with my NorthCarolina family instead of my California one. These grandchildren will have a new and different memory of Christmas that will be unique for them. Someday they may sit around another tree in the future and say, "Do you remember the Christmas that Grandma Liz came during the Covid pandemic and we did...?" Like the light painting that we did on Christmas Eve. New memories to blend with the old ones. But this will, for most of us, be the "abnormal" Christmas. Let me add a bit of an explanation about today's image. When I was visiting my friend in Montreal in June, 2019, we toured a large Catholic Church in the city and I took a picture of a bank of votive candles in front of one of the statues. I then manipulated that with the iColorama app to get this one which reminds me of festive trumpets. Perhaps we can think of them announcing the birth of the Christ child. Merry Christmas to you all.

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