These days we owe our lives to the amiable youngsters who bag our groceries.
And we owe our future to the teachers and library media specialists (like my sister Kathy) who worked overtime to make sure every single student has access to distance learning options.
And we owe our health to the doctors, nurses, physical therapists, EMTs and other medical personal who, by necessity and oath, turn toward the viruses we aim to flee.
And we owe our admiration to the nursing home administrators (like my sister in-law Melissa) and staff members who have to make difficult, but necessary decisions to isolate family members, and who also stand between the virus and its most vulnerable victims.
And we owe our safety to the police officers and firefighters who can’t enjoy the luxury of social distancing.
And we owe our strength to the farmers whose excellent work has made hoarding such an unnecessary embarrassment. We are a nation of abundance thanks to them.
And we owe our gratitude to the truck drivers and delivery service workers who move that product along.
And we owe our sanity to the generous and talented artists who have been flooding our newsfeed with entertainment.
And we owe our appreciation to the sanitation workers who make our garbage disappear, and to the postal workers who make our letters and packages appear.
And, after my annual St. Paddy’s Day visit (this time via telephone) to my 92-year old leprechaun friend Connie, I think we might owe our very necessary senses of humor to the Irish.
“Well, as my mother used to say, I guess we have to leave this all to the souls in purgatory,” she said as we discussed this weird world we’re all living in right now. “But, I’ve been leaving a lot to those souls. They must all be in heaven by now.”
In her honor, and in the memory of my proud Irish mother in-law, and in celebration of St. Patrick’s Day, and in the sincere hope that you will all stay safe and well, I leave you with an Irish blessing we’ve all heard a million times but that seems apropos today:
“May the road rise to meet you,
may the wind be always at your back,
may the sun shine warm upon your face,
the rains fall soft upon your fields
and, until we meet again
may God hold you in the palm of His hand.”