Our resolutions in past years have always been rather routine. We want to lose weight, eat better, exercise more, save for a down payment on a new vehicle. Last year was a wake-up call to so many of us as our lives were turned upside down. It was the worst year of my life, but to detail the specifics would be a violation of my family’s right to privacy.
As we enter 2021, I have hope. This does not mean I have not considered my possibility of dying from COVID-19. I, however, have done what I should have done in previous years: updated my will; completed the paper work to have my body donated to a medical teaching facility when I die; written an email to the governor of my state suggesting we use medics in the military, law enforcement and firefighting and large nearly-empty facilities such as the mall in my town to administer vaccines. Finally, I’ve put together a scrapbook of all kinds of information my sons will need when I die.
Recently, I asked my Facebook friends to let me know their three wishes for 2021 in priority order. Within hours, I had responses from Ohio, Kentucky, Texas, Wisconsin, Arizona, Georgia, and Minnesota. The 20 respondents ranged from golf professions to business executives to educators.
The top of most lists was a wish to get COVID-19 under control, and I had expected this response. With that came jobs, an improved economy, the ability to see family and friends. In addition, I’d like to share responses from specific people:
• Tom Gallagher: “Do what I can to age gracefully and slow down Father Time although I do know he always wins.”
• Karen Wallace: “Peace for my life and for our nation and the tumultuous world in which we live.”
• Amy Sims: “Patriotism and pride in our nation restored as a cultural norm.”
• Carl DeSantis: “See the hand of God in deeds of mercy and love.”
• Carol Carlton: “Ability to walk again.”
• Carol Severyn: “That my sons will seek God’s will for their lives and He will keep them safe and grant them wisdom, discernment, and clarity (Burke enters the U.S. Air Force and Brandon returns to college).”
• Sandra Streitenberger: “For every human to care about the fate of others as much as they care about their own.”
• Peter Barberio: “I’m wishing more importance is placed on education, compassion, and the earth.”
• Susan Armour Tesno: “No altruistic desires for me, purely selfish. Successful knee replacement.”
• Vivian Hazel: “Seek out beauty.”
World War II combat veterans, Harry Christy and Harry Ashburn, concur with others and want as first priority — and only wish for Christy — to see an end to this virus with as many vaccinated as possible. Ashburn, who will soon be 98, says, “Vivian, I want to see more of my great grandchildren, and although it’s selfish, I wish the theatres would open so Pat and I could see a movie and I could snack on Junior Mints.”
In conclusion, I would ask you to consider your three top wishes for 2021, to discuss those wishes with family and friends via safe methods, and to consider the words Amy Keenum sent me, words that I hope most of us can embrace, “To continue to give myself grace, to forge on with no regret as I was raised to do so.”
Vivian B. Blevins. Ph.D., teaches telecommunication employees from around the country and students at Edison State Community College and works with veterans. You may reach her at 937-778-3815 or email@example.com.