A grilled cheese sandwich…

What is it about a crisis that tears us down. Is it doubt, fear, disappointment, anxiety, stress or is it that we are born with an innate need to respond to our environment to protect, to serve, and to survive and we worry that we are not good enough for the task? As this Covid-19 pandemic approaches its fifth month, I find myself in moments of turmoil. Am I paying enough attention to my family, am I doing a good enough job in helping my granddaughter with her school work, can I make one more grilled cheese sandwich to keep this little girl happy even though I know it’s not the best nutrition? Can I focus on my job just 5 more minutes to get something done? Every moment seems to weigh down on my psyche and makes me question how I’m responding – let’s not even start on how it keeps me awake at night.

The reality is that all these feelings of despair, while they are real and have a heavy impact, are surmountable. Every day we take care of our loved ones, we strive to get things done at work or at home, and we take a moment to look at the sky and hope for a better day. This crisis will resolve itself. It will incur costs in many ways but we will learn from it and we will survive it.

Take each day for what it truly is — a gift to be cherished. Take a moment to smile at someone, share a word of encouragement, pray in thanksgiving for the good things that we have, strive to endure to see another ray of sunshine, to enjoy a grin from a child, to bask in the love of a spouse or significant other as you share in their burdens.

A day is coming when this will all be a distant memory where we will learn that our strengths lie in our ability to overcome challenges and resist the call to give up.

Some of you are doing a great job with your kids, with your jobs, with your families and your many other responsibilities. Some are enduring the loss of life, a job or missing the company of a loved one. But to those that are not doing so well, I share these personal thoughts in the hope that it will inspire you. Push on one more day and dare to hope for a future that makes you smile away any thought of fear and doubt. Strive to enjoy a day of hope and love and compassion. And yes, make one more grilled cheese sandwich for that child in your home (or whatever they are asking for yet again in your home cafeteria.) Nothing will pick you up better or faster than sharing someone else’s burden. May your life be filled with peace, harmony and love.

Alex Rodriguez is an M.D. and the Web Content Manager at OncoLink. With a background in information technology, he manages the learning management system, oversees translations for Spanish content on OncoLink and assists the team in translating technical jargon to user-friendly English. He enjoys all things tech, reading, photography, riding his motorcycle, playing flight sims, cooking and going for bike rides with his granddaughter.

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