A boomer’s sacrifice for the greater good

It’s hard to imagine that there’s anyone who’s not making a sacrifice or two during this pandemic. This story for BoomerCafé, from Jackie Madden Haugh of Cupertino, California, is about hers.

As I sat on the phone with each of my four adult children, I became pissy with what felt like over-blown concerns about my safety. I’m perfectly healthy with no compromised immune system, and I’m not “that” old.

Then, they reminded me of my true age (67), the susceptible target range for this coronavirus. In their opinion, my scheduled trip to Austin, Texas, to be present for the birth of my second grandchild was now out of the question.

Jackie Haugh (second from left) with her four adult children.

For the past nine months, I’ve planned for this sacred event. It was a trip I was excited to take, something vital to me, something I longed to do. I’m a grandmother now, and no one could save the day like this Grammie! If I couldn’t go, how would they survive?

And, despite the fact my doctor felt early on that I could go, I’ve never seen so much angst. Listening to each of them express their fears, I sat back flummoxed. This was a considerable sacrifice they were asking of me, and one I didn’t want to make.

Then, like a frying pan hitting me over my head, I saw the light. They weren’t asking this out of a wish to control my life, but out of love. They wanted me to stay safe.

We’re living in a frightening time, a complete shit-show to be exact, and it has hit everyone! No one is immune, and it may take not months but years to recover.

Jackie Haugh

It’s two-months-plus since I received my marching orders and I’ve hunkered down. My tiny apartment has never been so clean. I’ve caught up my TV shows I rarely see, including binge watching Netflix, I’ve drank a lot of wine, and have a new best friend in ZOOM. I’ve painted more, gotten back to my writing, and have hit my knees in prayer more than I have in years— begging that this ends soon, that few lives are lost, and when it does subside, that we go back to life and learn the art of human connection again. While painful, I do believe the Divine is asking us to slow down and get back to who we were born to be, integral parts of the whole universe, not just a bunch of subsets, with kindness and love.

So, back to my kids and their concerns, I’ll do as ordered and stay put for now (“for now” being the operative phrase). I’ll continue to take the necessary precautions, wash my hands until they’re raw, and order online any household supplies. And, should I go to the grocery store, I’ll wipe down my body in Clorox before and after I put on my hazmat suit.

I’ll be a good girl for my loved ones, and for the planet, as I do my part to keep others, as well as myself, safe. You’ve asked me to make a huge sacrifice, the biggest one yet, and while difficult, I’ll do it because you love me. God knows I love and adore you!


Jackie’s newest book is “Promise I Kept.”

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