What was the last normal outing you had before the lockdowns started from COVID-19?
For us is was a trip to the aquarium followed by a dinner at Bob Evans with another family. The following week, the world was shut down.
But life still managed to continue on…
For me, 2020 was the beginning of a new season and a new direction in my business. In the midst of the lockdown, a lot of personal growth was able to happen.
The kids were disappointed that they couldn’t see their friends at school anymore, but they transitioned well to finishing up the end of the 2019/2020 school year at home. Our homeschooling days weren’t far behind us, so we quickly found a rhythm that worked well. I am so thankful for this as so many families around the world struggled with the abrupt change in daily life.
Even with the restrictions that were put in place throughout the year, we were able to enjoy the company of one another and of others – COVID style. New babies, baptisms, a family reunion, and even a wedding were all celebrated with joy.
The garden on the farm continued to be planted, and the resulting harvest was stored away. With the fear of meat shortage, the local butchers were all backed up. The cow that was supposed to be butchered in the spring ended up filling the freezer at the end of summer instead. We even raised a flock of meat chickens that added to the freezers of 5 families. Of course, my dad was the one who did most of the work in all of this, but we were so thankful to still help out where we could.
An addition was built onto my parents house. Part garage, and part in-law suite where grandpa could live. He sold his house and moved into my brother’s room as it was being completed. Grandpa had a big effect on my kids lives that summer. He built a bike with Daniel and showed Timmy how to fix the other bikes – making him the official bike repairman. The little boys would search him out in his garage and would sit and talk with him, or just visit as he tinkered around.
The beginning of school brought with it new parameters in virtual learning, and by October, they were all back in school. Each day you’ll hear us ask the kids, “does everyone have their face masks?” I can’t help but laugh at myself – our kids barely knew what a face mask was just a year before, and now our 4 year old shows his mask off proudly.
Before we knew it we were preparing for Thanksgiving.
It was around this time, that grandpa was diagnosed with the late stages of lung cancer. No longer was it just in his lungs – it had spread to many other places in his body. He joined us for Thanksgiving dinner, and even made his famous chocolate pudding pies that everyone looks forward to.
The following weeks were spent in joy as we prepared for our savior’s birth, as well as sadness as grandpa’s sickness got worse and worse. While the doctors had originally given him a year to live, it became more apparent that he might not live to celebrate Christmas with us.
Life continued to go on. School, work, household chores, and activities sprinkled here and there.
Grandpa passed away on December 16, 2020. It was 9 days before Christmas, and 1 month before his 81st birthday. He was home, surrounded by his loved ones, during the quiet of a winter snowstorm.
For many, 2020 was one of the most difficult years they would ever face. For our family, it was a time of renewal of faith and hope in our Lord.