I spoke to my friend Kathy last night, and it made me sad to hear her so sad. She's 73 and has had Shot #1. She's still self-isolating until two weeks after she receives Shot #2, which will put her into May. Of course this is wise, but it's getting to her. Kathy has had cognitive issues for a while, and the pandemic is especially difficult for her peace of mind.
For example, she told me how she misses her 55-year-old daughter, who relocated to Colorado. But, she said, she's glad that her daughter got out of "MAGA Country" (Illinois) to fulfill her dream of teaching Pilates and working part-time in a health food store.
What the ever-loving fuck? Illinois is MAGA Country? With a Democratic governor and two Democratic Senators? And there are three Pilates studios right here in my neighborhood! I pointed this out to Kathy, who was dismissive. She lives in DeKalb now, a college town 65 miles outside of Chicago, and she insists it's filled with "Trumpers." She says this makes her feel lonely.
DeKalb is NOT filled with "Trumpers." Kathy's adult grandchildren are anti-vax Trumpers and this makes her sad, but they do not represent her adopted hometown. It's the home of Northern Illinois University. There's an academic community and tons of students, two groups not usually found under MAGA caps. I pointed this out to her, too. She clucked.
She is sad and lonely and skeptical of her neighbors, but she shouldn't be! She shouldn't judge everyone in town by her adult grandchildren, though her adult grandchildren are the only ones she has consistent contact with. (Minimal physical contact, since they refuse to mask so she doesn't let them in her home. They talk on the phone regularly, though, and the kids are very good about helping her with her shopping.)
I recommended that, after she gets her second shot, she join a book or movie group through her library. Or maybe find someone to go on walks with her (she enjoys hiking around town and through the forest preserve). She doesn't want to spoil a nice sunny day listening to someone claim Trump was robbed.
Of course she doesn't. We're all tired of The Big Lie. But she likely wouldn't find a person like that! I sent her these screen grabs this morning. The first one is the final 2020 vote tally for the State of Illinois, the second for her new home.
This may sound corny, but it's Easter weekend and I especially want to be compassionate and helpful. I want to help Kathy with her feelings of isolation and "otherness." But I can't convince her that she's doing this to herself! That's she's judging a community of 45,000 by the four young people she talks to most often, her adult grandchildren.
But I can't reach her, and it makes me sad. I wish she believed in God. Maybe a nice, progressive worship community could succeed where I'm failing.