She leaned against the vehicle, peering through the shaded window to catch a glimpse of her granddaughter. Her heart ached for the touch of family.

“Hi there!” “I love you,” she called out tearfully.

It had been more than two months since she had seen or held her infant grandchild.

Her granddaughter looked up from the comfort of her car seat and moved her legs quickly in excitement.

In that same time, the infant’s mom, who has been working at home, has watched her growing baby crawl, sit up on her own. and stand for the first time.

It has brought her immeasurable amounts of joy to be there for those moments she may have missed as a full-time working mom.

She also felt emotional for the loved ones they could not see, so she sends videos, photos and Facetimes often to stay connected.

•••

He watched his dad smile when he saw him through the nursing home window for the first time in 68 days.

They both touched the glass unable to hug or touch. The facility just started allowing window visits again as they are trying to keep their residents safe.

The wrench in his tummy unraveled a bit finally getting to see him. He is used to visiting him a few times a week.

They usually play games and chat and share in the moments together. He was so very thankful for seeing his warm eyes looking back at him.

•••

The infant child watched her auntie’s mouth move on the screen as the aunt leaned in to say “Hello baby! How are you?” They both smiled sharing a moment.

The infant babbled about her day, seemingly telling awesome stories about her parents are singing and dancing and doing all sorts of crazy things to make her smile.

The auntie listened and responded much to the child’s delight. The child reached out to touch the phone, a gesture she uses to show affection.

•••

She answered the phone with an excited “Hello” almost beaming with happiness. “It’s so good to hear from you. We have been thinking about you a lot.”

She has spent more than 50 years as a volunteer and now has been home for 50 some days. That is the way that she gives. That is what she knows.

She is admittedly a little lost and a little lonely. She said, they say we are in this together, but we all have to take care of those who we are quarantined with at the moment.

The old friends chatted and caught up about how they were navigating the new world. She was able to let the worries subside for that time they shared on the phone.

•••

The birthday gal looked through the big picture window of her house, along with her beloved dog and husband, while wearing her “Made in 80” shirt to see her family outside holding “Happy Birthday” signs and wearing masks.

She was supposed to be running a race to commemorate the milestone birthday. Even though it was different than she had planned, she appreciated the thoughtfulness of others to help her celebrate.

Her husband filled a room with balloons, organized a birthday video message from her friends and gave her presents.

All the love for one another was the gift she was holding onto most that day.

•••

The world pandemic due to COVID-19 has changed the way we interact with each other. As human beings, we long for touch and for being around people. We often crave the company of people. These are all stories of people in our community trying ways to connect.

My dad used to say that the best company are the people you can sit with and not even have to talk, but just appreciate being around them.

Many are looking for creative ways to connect with loved ones who they are not able to see during this time. Some lack technology or access to broadband to be able to use video.

Some are isolated and do not have the means to connect. We try to find ways to reach out to another another, whether it is writing a letter to someone who is isolated without technology or sending a care package to someone in need. We encourage people to reach out if feeling alone or scared.

We are connecting at a level that we never have before as there is a shared experience going through a pandemic.

We also pray and hope for the world to heal so we can hug our friends and family, see our neighbors again, and feel those connections we crave.

*Melissa can be reached at melissacox2009@yahoo.com. Feel free to email if you want to connect.

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