Today it has been 45 years since my mother's passing. She died in 1975 of lymphoma and I was 17. It was the summer before my senior year of high school. I remember the day she died with a heavy heart. And during this pandemic when I see stories of the victims cut down by a pandemic that should not have been, dying alone in a hospital room without their loved ones holding their hand, it pulls on my heart and makes it bleed for their survivors.
You see, my mother died alone in a hospital in Cleveland, OH. Back in the 1970s, the treatments for lymphoma were not as advanced as they are today. She went there for a clinical trial. We were all tested for a bone marrow match and out of my sisters and other close relatives, I was a match.
That night before I was expected at the hospital, I arrived in Cleveland and I did something selfish and didn't go see her. It is something that haunts me because I had a choice to be there and even though I was young and irresponsible, and my presence would not have stopped her from passing, she would not have died alone in sterile surroundings with no one by her side.
Which brings me to my experience watching the 2020 Democratic National Convention. It was a virtual experience that made it in my opinion, all-inclusive. The stories of the men and women affected by this pandemic grew heavy in my heart.
Like Joe Biden, I understand the grief that envelopes a person's life and takes your breath from you for no reason or many reasons.
A loss of a loved one transcends time and causes time to stand still. We spend the rest of our lives looking backward but trying to move forward. And the phrase "I know Joe" isn't something these people say mainly because they worked, lived, or met him. They said it because they know he understands their struggles in life.
Even after November 3, 2020, Joe Biden has a high mountain to climb to get all the American people to a place that gives us hope and a future free of all the ugliness the current president endorses.
So, what can the days following the election possibly look like?
Thanksgiving, a family tradition since the beginning of this country, is not going to involve large family gatherings. Grandparents will not be at the head of the table saying grace but will be on video eating in separate homes. Hanukkah, Christmas, and Kwanza will also be celebrated via zoom and messenger rooms. Rest assured, this country will not hold back on their ability to decorate. Lights on homes, cars, apartment windows, and businesses of the traditional colors will bring joy to children that drive by in cars to soak up some holiday yuletide.
The ball drop in New York City will drop as always, but the city streets will be bare and become another virtual event with family and friends online popping champagne and throwing confetti in the air at midnight. Many Americans believed that the end of 2020 will usher out the pandemic and this year that will go down as the worst year for the world. A new decade of love, positive living, and celebration is on the horizon and it will be grander because the citizens of the United States are not taking anything for granted.
The day after the inauguration, President Biden's first act may be to use the Defense Production Act and begin the distribution of mandatory masks and PPE for everyone. No business, school, or church can open unless everyone is equipped and tested regularly. The fast response testing is mass-produced and distributed without the need for insurance or cause to be tested.
President Biden will also reverse all the changes Trump made during his tenure. He will rejoin the Paris Agreement and speak at the United Nations, which will be received with overwhelming acceptance.
It is a pretty picture, with some hard work for all of us in the next few months. Life will begin to get brighter and healthier. We will always mourn for the loss of the victims during this unprecedented time. Rest assured, if you lost a loved on to this pandemic, you will grieve because you must, but you will also live life to its fullest because your loved one wants you to.