Heidi Covington - Oregon State University
My entire world has been flipped upside down from the impact of Covid-19. My very best friend, my mom, has been ill for almost a month and has been in the ICU on a ventilator for the last two weeks. My grandfather-in-law was hospitalized for a week then miraculously released. Meanwhile, my father has been left to care for his 94-year-old mother-in-law. But because they were exposed to the virus, they were quarantined for 14 days. So while my mom texted me at 4AM that she might not survive and told me exactly where her jewelry was hidden in case she never woke up to tell me, I was alone. My entire family was separated from each other during the worst several weeks of our lives. Visiting my dad and grandma meant waving at them from the other side of a sliding glass door.
Earlier this week we got a call from the hospital and said that my mom’s body was shutting down and was probably not going to make it. I remember losing my mind to the point where I couldn’t think. I kept shaking my head and telling myself to wake up because I honestly thought I was in a nightmare. My husband picked me up off the floor, got me dressed, and drove me to my dad’s house because fortunately his quarantine had been lifted that same day. This week has been much more manageable because we have been able to be together. We cried together as members from the church congregation sang for us on the porch. We prayed together. We’ve eaten meals together.
We have ALL taken turns tucking my grandma in at bedtime. Finally, we were all together when we received the encouraging news that my mom’s fever had broken and she has started making small improvements.
While I am still waiting for my mom to heal and come home, my husband has been out of work. His warehouse shut down so we have been living on my income for the month. Yet, with everything going on, I haven’t had the time or headspace to think about finances. That is until I realized my classes start up again on Monday and tuition will be due shortly after. I struggle to even think about how I will be able to focus on classes with everything going on. But I know that my mom would kick my butt if she knew I dropped out of my master’s program now. Even though I still don’t know if or when she will be coming home, I will keep pushing on so I have some good stories to tell when I see her again.