New Year, New COVID

This year has got to be better.

On Jan 20, 2021 the U.S. got a new president and I watched the whole thing laying uncomfortably on my sofa while recovering from my second Moderna vaccine.  That was the way the year began for many people.  At least there was a general hope that things were going to improve and we would all be able to get back to normal soon.  I guess the word “soon” needed to be defined.

Many people still faced unfathomable obstacles including jobs and health. We still lost far more people in 2021 than we could have ever imagined.  And yet, somehow, the all-star cheer began to make a careful comeback. 

There were false starts.  Competitions that didn’t happen, some that sort of happened, and those that still got canceled thanks to the new, unwelcome normal of life within the pandemic.

While my athlete decided that sideline, college cheer during COVID wasn’t for her, I am still very much into and interested in the cheer world.  I remember fondly our last time at NCA in 2020, right before the pandemic went into full swing.  We gathered, ate, enjoyed the packed competition venues with abandon.  Then, just a few weeks later, it was as if all the tents folded and the carnival left town.  My orders dropped as if cheerleading took a headlong dive off a steep cliff.  

Suddenly, I was scrambling to cover the upcoming costs of college (would that happen?) when one of my sources of income was suddenly gone.   I wasn’t alone.

But this year I had hope.

And the year did not disappoint.  I’ve been so excited to see cheerleaders finally get back on the mat.  And then I started hearing from cheer moms and gym owners who ordered before ready to get set for the season.  And then the Christmas orders began.  I am so thankful for all the great things that happened for the athletes and blessed to be a part of their cheerleading experience and memories.

I was able to sponsor the Cheer Buzz for a couple of months, virtually meet a new cheer events coordinator, and sponsor a contest for the Cheer Mom Blog.   This year also saw the addition of many items from other small, women-owned, businesses.  I strongly believe, especially after what we’ve learned in the last couple of years, we have to support each other in any way possible.

But just as the last Christmas orders were delivered by the postal service and I took a couple of days off for myself, life sent another curveball.  Isn’t that the way it works!?!

I greeted 2022 in recovery mode.  No, I didn’t get COVID (sincere thank you Lord above).  Without warning, I found myself in incredible pain on Dec 25.  I was in the emergency room on December 26 and test results identified the issue: gall bladder needed immediate removal. For someone who is otherwise healthy and whose last visit to the hospital was giving birth 20 years ago, this was a huge surprise.

Because of COVID, the hospitals are full and there aren’t enough beds or staff.  It took several hours for an available room to open up and a few more hours for the ambulance to be available to take me to the main facility.

I finally had surgery late on December 27, not without complications, but thankful for so many prayers of my friends and coworkers I was able to be released on December 30.   And then Betty White died.

I’m still recovering, from surgery and grieving over Betty, feeling much better, and hope to get back on track soon.

I think that the last sentence holds the hope we are all praying for.  We all want our world to heal.  For everyone to mend fences, mend feelings, and feel better.  We’re tired of being tired and putting on that brave face for our kids.

My wishes for you all are that you have a year that far exceeds your expectations for all the good things that can happen for you and your families.   

Happy New Year