Hello to all my coffee share peeps! I almost missed this week, because I already have no idea what day of the week it is at any given moment. Normally it takes a little longer into the summer for me to lose track of days, but the events of this year and the last few weeks especially has expedited the summer time-confusion.
This week, similar to last week, has been a bit hectic and disheveled. At least, that’s how I feel… whether or not the events of the week actually reflect that, I guess we’ll see.
If we were actually having coffee, we’d be sitting in the living room of my father’s new place. There are boxes all along one wall, and the door to his room is closed because I haven’t bought blinds for one of the windows yet, and I don’t like the idea of the neighbors seeing me when I’m in the supposed privacy of the house.
There are boxes in the kitchen and Dad’s room, and even the bathroom, too. Boxes everywhere!
Even before my Dad’s accident a couple of weeks ago, he was scheduled to move out of his old (upstairs) apartment and into a single level duplex down the road. We had literally just this week to get him moved from the old place to the new place… and Dad had NOTHING packed…
I get the impression (and my brother agrees) that some of Dad’s issues that came to light because of the accident may have been impairing his abilities in ways he wasn’t dealing with, so it’s very likely that Dad wouldn’t have been ready to move on his own even without the accident. Luckily, it’s the same owner as his old apartment, so he knows the guy and the guy is working with us.
He’s even letting me stay even though I’m not on the lease.
The packing and things started last weekend. While I was staying at the hospital with Dad, my mother and two brothers packed and moved almost all of Dad’s stuff. There was a small handful of stuff they couldn’t get because there was some rain and there were people still painting in the new place. We finally got everything out yesterday (Saturday).
Tuesday night, Dad was moved into the physical rehabilitation facility that my brother and I chose (as opposed to the more expensive nursing facility that my mother wanted him to go to), and the rules about visiting hour changed.
The hospital was much more lax, which seems backwards when you really think about it. The hospital, where there are lots of people who are in the severely at risk category, allowed one person per day to visit, so the family visited on rotation, and the hospital even offered to let me spend the night… during a pandemic! The only rule: you had to wear masks whenever you were anywhere in the building, except Dad kept telling me to take it off when it was just the two of us in the room.
The rehab facility, that only houses up to 40 people, only allows Dad one designated visitor: me. I am the only person in the family who is allowed to come and see him. Even then, I can only see him for 2 hours a day between 3 and 5 pm.
So my entire week (minus yesterday) has been: organizing Dad’s new place, then take a shower around noon, drive the slightly more than an hour to the rehab place, see Dad for two hours, then drive the slightly more than an hour home, then organize some more, then play Sims 4 to relax, then crash, and wake up the next morning and repeat.
Like Groundhog Day!
In the middle of it all, there have been the protests going around the country. I get all my news in the four hour window when I’m driving and visiting with Dad. As a result, I haven’t been very active online or on social media, and I hope that doesn’t make people think that I’m not “woke” to the issue, or that I’m one of those “Karens” that doesn’t think the situation applies to me.
I’m a person of color raised by a white family. I’ve seen racism when I go places with family and people treat my family differently than they treat me… until the realize that we’re all together, or (in some cases) they see that I am the one footing the bill.
I’ve been lucky that I’m racially ambiguous enough to not have encountered racism by cops.
There was once when I was pulled over and the cop approached my car with his hand on his weapon, but it was the middle of the night in a small town where normally people would have no reason to be driving that late. I’d been dropping another teacher off at the school after going to an event in the neighboring big city. It wasn’t a teacher event, but the officer didn’t need to know that. When he saw my teacher ID hanging from the rear view mirror and looked at how I was dressed (dressed up, but not club attire), he thanked me for my service and let me go.
I assume he had kids, which meant that eventually (had I stayed), I would have been their English teacher because I was the only high school English teacher.
The point is, I’ve been lucky enough not to face the racism that led to the tragedy of George Floyd’s death… but it still more than bothers me that in this day and age we are still facing systemic racism. I’m outraged!
Yet, I can’t help but think that all the events of the past few years (probably longer) have been leading up to this moment, this opportunity for us to finally have the momentum to end racism… or at least put a large dent in it.
If Trump hadn’t been elected while running on a ticket of overt racism, if the Coronavirus hadn’t cost so many people’s jobs and forced us to be stuck indoors, if technology hadn’t evolved to the point of cell phones, if reality television hadn’t shown us that the world likes to see behind the scenes…. If all these things hadn’t happened, I wonder if we would see the same near unanimous, global support for these protests.
All of these things coalesced to create a situation where, because of Trump’s attitude towards racists, cops felt safe to discriminate and kill, bystanders had the means to record the incident thanks to cell phones, social media and our fascination with “reality TV” made it easy to spread the video, and because of the CoronaVirus, more people saw it and were able to channel their anger and pain into a cause that was worthwhile to protest.
But not just in America.
This incident didn’t just unify (most) people in this country, but it’s caused a shift in the global conversation about racism, specifically systemic racism. For the first time in history, the whole world is talking about racism and actions are being taken in multiple countries to change the system.
That’s one heck of a silver lining! But it’s not done yet. This is the beginning of something, but how it ends depends on everyone. That’s why, even though I’m very busy with my father’s situation, I am still trying to continue the conversation and spread information. Click the link above to go directly to the #BlackLivesMatter movement to learn more and find out what you can do to help.
So, that’s my week. Dealing with Dad, observing but not able to fully participate in the protests, and trying to find the silver lining in all this mess. On the plus side, Dad should be home this coming Tuesday, so there’s something to look forward to!
How was your week?