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I wrote my last blog on April 24th, about six weeks ago. I was on a tear for awhile, posting a lot of blessays (blog + essay). I had so many emotions that needed to come out as we waded through the coronavirus pandemic, and writing has always been my avenue for release. Fear, concern, boredom, and discomfort with the world's stage gripped me. Writing helped me search for lessons in the discomfort.

Mom had been with me for six weeks at that time as I had taken her out of her nursing home when the governor signed an order forbidding visitors. Like at nursing homes all over the world, the residents were confined to their apartments to try and control the pandemic. I have been in touch with mom's friends who have not been out of their apartments for almost three months now. Fear, concern, boredom, and discomfort has overcome them too.

Mom and I settled into a nice routine but I felt anxious about what was next. When do I send her back to her nursing home? How do I know the right time? With talk of a second wave, should she go back? Like so many things in life, the answer came when I was not looking. I spoke to my contact at mom's assisted living facility on May 25th, a day that is now earmarked on our lives' calendars. She told me it was safe for mom to come back. They could take care of her. As the governor's order was still in place, mom would not be able to leave her apartment and I could not visit, but I could Facetime with her. And, she added, we're going to have to start charging her rent for the month of June.

While I appreciate how nice my contact at mom's ALF has been, to send mom back for her to be isolated was not something I was going to do. Talk about discomfort. I gave thirty-day notice and today mom's apartment is being packed and moved by a moving company. Since I am not allowed into the nursing home, I cannot pack up her life's belongings. Alex and John will pack mom's photo albums, her Stephen King collection, her photographs, her aunt's dishes, her mother's jewelry. If this sounds like I am complaining, I am and I am not. Yes, I would like to be with mom to go through her belongings, but also the idea of packing is distasteful to me. Talk about discomfort. Instead, when the job is done, I'll meet the movers at the storage unit I have rented. All of mom's things, eighty-five years of stuff, will be placed in a 10x10 unit. We'll regroup and see what life brings us next.

Back to May 25th. This was the day George Floyd was murdered. Protests over Mr. Floyd's death and systemic racism have marked our country, hopefully moving the world's stage in a forward, better and kinder direction. Change is mandated. The search for lessons in the discomfort continues.

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Joanne Lewis Blog