Days before ‘lockdown’ became official, the landscape of the news changing seemingly by the hour. We had a decision to make. Do we travel the 500 mile round trip to see my mum for her 60th birthday. London is a hotbed for the virus and the thought of getting on a train, something so normal now seems far from it. We lay in bed, staring out of the window, not really talking to each other, knowing that the phone would ring imminently to ask what we had decided. We all knew the answer, we just didn’t want to say it opting to watch the clock run the hours down.
This was hardly the most challenging decision made during the pandemic, but it was certainly the beginning, the acceptance that actually things are changing, Things have changed already.
We don’t go, the worst gift would be the spread of infection – ‘happy birthday’. We get back into bed. We stare out the window. The tearful words from my Mum going over and over in my head.
‘Call me everyday’.
98 phone calls later… ok, ok, 97 and the new normal is just to check in to make sure we’re still there. Somedays the calls are mere minutes, others run hours into the evening. We’re probably more connected than we were, the distance from London to Home feels closer than it did, from the spot in my room, phone strapped to my ear, doing the best we can.