Like many of us, I haven’t gotten to actually SEE and be with any of my kids for about two months now. We have two that we’ve raised and two that have joined our family and I miss each one of them. Yes we’ve spoken on the phone and actually had a few video chats but I miss being able to hug them. The holidays were a letdown, we usually make a point of having a Passover Seder together, but it didn’t happen this year. Yes, I know that has been the case for most parents of grown children. And I feel weepy and miss them so much.
And what really, really bothers me most is I know how many other people they see every single day… You see all four of them are first responders. Two of them are working “in-house” positions along with others, and two of them are riding in ambulances and treating innumerable patients all day long — sometimes their hours are so long that they are too exhausted to answer their phones or return text messages. I am so damn proud of each of them, they are heroes.
I am not insulted because my kids don’t have the time to see me, or that they can’t because of social distancing. I am insulted by the fact that so many people just assume that there will be a response each time they call 911 and they seem to forget the sacrifices that each responder makes often for very little pay. I am insulted by the fact that all these highly trained individuals, of which my children are a part of, are forgotten when the crisis is over. Heck some of them aren’t even considered to be ESSENTIAL even though they are risking their own lives with every single patient and every single time tones go out.
For now everyone is referring to our FRONTLINE during this Coronavirus crisis and thanking them with thoughtful meals and cards, blue ribbons on trees, and cheers. What is going to happen when this crisis is over? Will our first responders be forgotten again? Will most of today’s heroes have to continue working multiple jobs to pay their bills? I’ve seen it happen before and I worry that it will happen again.
It’s time to recognize our TRUE heroes, the ones who respond to cries for help, the ones who save our lives even when it puts them at risk. Make a list NOW of them people you are able to depend upon for all of the important stuff — all the people who come when you dial 911, all the people who restock the grocery store shelves, all the people who maintain the roads so that trucks can get through with supplies, all the nurses and doctors in the ER and ICU, our military and National Guard, the people who man the food shelters… these are the people we need to value, we need to thank, and we need to remember.