By Ronda Nissley
“America’s Leaders Can’t Agree on Reopening Protocols. Neither Can Families”. The headline from a Wall Street Journal article caught my attention.
I had just engaged in a rather tense interchange with a family member on Covid precautions. Both of us had strong feelings, and we were definitely not on the same page.
It appears these conversations have become quite common within families and have become as polarizing as politics. As the article states, “Behind all the confusion are thousands of conversations and arguments every day in households across America about how to do the right thing—with disagreements on what that is.” It has become a balancing act between caution and connection.
I'm sharing several principles I need to remind myself of daily.
What challenges have you faced in balancing caution and connection? How have you navigated these challenges? We want to hear from you!
Link to the Wall Street Journal article
Lisa female Garvin
7/14/2020 03:58:55 pm
We have just negotiated an agreement with the son and daughter in law of our youngest grandchild. We really want to see him (saw him weekly prior to COVID) and our daughter in law wants us to self quarantine for 2 weeks prior to seeing him. It has been stressful on both sides as we don’t want to give up our lives and she is fearful of him being around us, and yet we both desire to be respectful of each other. After some prayer, here is the solution the Lord delivered: we will see him once every 4 weeks, with us self quarantining for 2 weeks prior and resuming the activities we feel comfortable with the other 2 weeks. Win/win 🙂.
3/5/2021 10:45:08 pm
A few weeks before Covid my son and his wife separated just like that Daddy was gone and grandparents too, they live in Indianapolis. Grammy (me) working in the hospital as a nurse scared of this unknown and risk to my precious family. I got laid off when elective surgeries got canceled, we wait 2 more weeks and the day came that Pappy & Grammy drove to Indianapolis to see 2 of our grandbabies. We had not seen them in a month. The kids 9 months and 2 years old were beyond excited to see us but the heartbreaking moment of when we left I looked up and my grandbabies beating on the window crying as we pulled away. I sobbed most of the drive home. I told Justin that we were hurting the kids more by not seeing them than the risk of seeing them. Shortly after this it was arranged for the kids to visit my son every other weekend at our home here in Ohio (this arrangement lasted until late we summer when he transitioned to keeping them at his own apartment). Our other granddaughter in Springfield her mom was absolutely insistent that I was a nurse and we did not see our 5 year old granddaughter for 5 months. My daughter who was at Fort Campbell we didn't see her or our granddaughter Donna Jean for 111 days when Justin finally agreed it was safe enough to travel there. Yet our other daughter was in Texas training for deployment to Kuwait with a 2 month delay leaving stateside she finally arrived in Kuwait. During all this my career showed how easily it could disappear and change the most unexpected specialty nurses being laid off. As a family , me Justin and our kids/grandkids decided we would not go without seeing each other. I returned to school and started working one day a week at the hospital to reduce the risk. We prepared for Ashleigh (Fort Campbell, daughter) to move home with her family when she was discharging from the Army we expected home the end of July but did not actually move back til December 23rd , Covid slowed down Army paperwork as well. We continued to see Ashleigh during her transition with me going to her a few more times and her coming to Ohio in September, October and November. The longest stretch of time of my adult children not seeing each other came through Covid. FaceTime helped us stay connected to Ashleigh and Hailey. Meanwhile we saw Kasey (my son) more than we had in his adult life. As Covid truly showed us how our family needs each other and our grandbabies showed us that the emotional trauma to them outweighs the risk. My career shifted as I am higher risk so we decided hospital life puts me at risk. I now work teaching nursing assistant students with a lower risks. If one of us tests positive it will impact 13 people the most 13 important in our life and as a family we are willing to take that risk. We welcomed our 6th grandbaby in January. Justin's dad is high risk and we take using precautions with him seriously and always assess to ensure no one is sick before Justin visits with him. I will never ask someone to wear a mask in my home, so if I invite you know that it is not an expectation. We welcomed our daughter Hailey home from Kuwait on Christmas Eve! Several months of separation gives such a great appreciation of of our family. Covid changed our lives and the ways that Justin and I had changes in date night with the rediscovery of drive in movies enjoying 80s movies. 2020 was a really hard year but it wasn't the job loss or the shut down of society, for us it was the loss of precious time with our adult children and grandchildren.
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Lavern & Ronda Nissley are co-directors of Encompass. Married since 1978, both enjoy coffee, riding their tandem bicycle and working together to build strong relationships.