Last week, while my daughter Emme was celebrating her 11th birthday in our backyard alongside her mom Nicole and me, I noticed for the first time in the 5 years that I lived in this house a soft yellow light emanating from a window above a brightly lit red door, located at the base of the neighboring church’s bell tower.
The composition in that moment exhumed peacefulness and calm. I recall the three of us feeling a sense of relief and taking a moment to appreciate it.
Still, those were not ordinary times. Covid-19 had already taken its toll throughout the world, and the virus was spreading in our cities and neighborhoods at alarming rates.
I could feel Nicole’s anxiety when we started talking about the current situation and how to best deal with it. We then chuckled when she mentioned that I was well qualified to talk to Emme on how to best navigate this crisis since I grew up in Lebanon during the civil war, and that living through a social lockdown, a shortage of goods (believe it or not it was not TP back then), and waking up every day to a very volatile environment were not foreign to me.
Living through a civil war or any other life-threatening event such as a natural disaster or a pandemic brings its daily share of surprises that could knock you off your feet and destabilize your life as you know it without any prior warnings.
Looking back, it was almost 30 years to the day, when I was hit by a shrapnel from an RPG in my upper chest while swimming with friends in the Mediterranean Sea.
I admit I had never been that close to taking my last breath. Still, just like many others who have been through similar ordeals, you find yourself, and with the help of those around you, picking up the pieces and putting them back together. You will keep walking, breathing a little bit deeper, holding your head a little bit higher, and growing a little bit stronger.
You are resilient.
During this pandemic the future might feel uncertain for some of us. Yes, we all have been knocked off our feet, yet we will pick up the pieces, get back up and grow stronger together.
We are resilient. Stay safe, stay home.