Survivor

It’s a long time time since I’ve been here, a world away from those days just back from Kenya and the missions.

A little thing called Covid 19 was between there are here. I got it. I survived, and then I went back to work with others who had caught it. Most survived.

The price was high. Not just the illness but the hours breathing through a hot mask, the sweaty PPE, the showers at the end of the day, watching the funeral home come. Crying when they did and crying when the survivors left the unit. Communing a sweet lady while wearing a haz mat helmet for vestments. Praying hard. Worrying for my wife and family. Sleeping alone to keep others safe.

People ask me what I want.

I want a month somewhere quiet. I want people to stop calling us “heroes” because we do this every day. I want people to understand I’m not myself yet because that jolly, caring person, has been pushed real hard and is very tired. I want people to know that I’m glad I experienced what I did and returned to do the service I could, but there was a cost.

Everything seems different now. I cry very easily. I roll down the windows in my car every time I can because fresh air has become like gold to me. I sleep when I can, sometimes too much and sometimes too little. The day determines the night. They say one needn’t fear in the valley of the shadow of death but that doesn’t mean it won’t take a piece out of you as you walk through.

Still, my faith is still there and so is my hope. I’ll catch up with the rest of the world in a little bit.

See you there.