Another New Normal?

By Jodee Bock, daughter of Eventide Sheyenne Crossings resident Maurene Bock

What is “normal,” anyway?

Our world is in a bit of a tizzy right now. We are maneuvering through uncharted territory. Not only does this pandemic affect our businesses and our schools and our social lives, it affects our elderly in ways most of us can’t even imagine.

I can’t visit Mom right now, and I understand that. It would be selfish of me to expect that being able to give my mom a hug like I have been able to do for the past four years since she’s lived five minutes away from me should be my right.

This is a new “normal.”

Knowing that this crazy COVID-19 virus affects people who are most vulnerable like my mom who, by the way, except for her Parkinson’s diagnosis, is an incredibly healthy and hearty 88-year-old, and the others who share her living space, is enough to remind me that when we see the world through the eyes of love, we make sacrifices for the good of the whole.

That doesn’t make it easier to know I can’t just stop by for a quick hug, or drop off a new shirt, or stay and chat. And if it’s difficult for me, I can’t even imagine how it must be for her.

Does she understand what’s going on in the world she only watches through the window? Does she know that just because I’m on the other side of that window, that doesn’t mean I don’t want to visit and leave her with a hug that squishes her face in my shoulder? We always laugh about that because she says “I love you, Jodee” as I’m squishing her face in my hug, and I always apologize for squeezing too tight, but neither of us cares.

The phone hasn’t been an easy gadget for Mom to figure out, so we don’t talk on the phone. We connect in person. She can talk on the phone when I maneuver it and we call my sister or her brother to catch up. But Mom’s never been a talker. She’s a listener. And it’s difficult to do that on the phone.

I don’t visit Mom every single day. I go when I know I can spend quality time, and that doesn’t mean every day. But knowing that I am restricted from going whenever I can is kind of surreal. And not only because I miss Mom, but also because I miss the nurses and aides and workers who have become like my family. Heck, I see them more than I see my own family, and they definitely see Mom more than any of us do.

Bless you, Eventide staff members, for setting up FaceTime options for us so we can actually see each other without having to climb the snowbank outside the window. (I’m thankful Mom is on the ground floor!)

This quarantine period is new, but I can’t imagine it will ever be “normal.”

Let’s just nip this virus in the bud and get on with our regular routines, shall we?

In the meantime, I’ll play by the rules and do what I can to stay connected.

I know you all will do everything you can to take care of her. Just make sure one of those squish face hugs is from me, OK?

Jodee Bock is a certified Life Purpose and Career Coach and the author or co-author of seven books. She is the founder of her own company, Bock’s Office Transformational Consulting, and is also the Dean of LifeWorks University, an online learning portal that uses the principles of Think and Grow Rich as the foundation for creating the life of your dreams

When she’s not writing, coaching or speaking, you can find Jodee singing with the City of Lakes Chorus, an award-winning barbershop chorus, keeping busy as the head scorekeeper for the North Dakota State University men’s and women’s basketball teams.

Her mom, Maurene Bock, is a resident of Sheyenne Crossings in West Fargo.