by Beverly Koepplin
I had a big party – my sister and her husband’s 50th anniversary celebration – to attend. I went out and bought an outfit, had my nails done, and my hair cut and colored, was exposed to (breakthrough) COVID, and tested positive – wait, that last part wasn’t in my plans. I dutifully notified everyone who might have been exposed (they all tested negative) and then sat back in isolation waiting for time to move faster. I already knew I wasn’t going to go to this once-in-a-lifetime party and had made my peace with it. There are people with much worse problems . . .or so I kept telling myself.
And then the house next door exploded and burned to the ground. Things got a little dicey, but the fire department got the fire out before my home could burn down. My house only sustained minor damage, but because it was not habitable, I had to move out for four days. With COVID on board, I knew it would be hard to find a place to live. One of my friends who had been exposed to me and tested negative kindly offered me her hospitality.
Five days after the fire, I came back home. Glorious home. My house and my cat and I had a wonderful reunion. Life is slowly returning to normal.
I think about those days when I was ill and then displaced. My mind keeps coming back to how much worse it all could have been and how many people do not have the resources I did to cope with such a wretched time in life. They have little or no money, no food, no home, no insurance, no medical help if needed, and often they do not have the support of their family, friends, neighbors, and community.
These people sometimes call on FISH for help. I have heard their sad stories and listened to them cry because they are “begging” for food. Because I am fortunate enough to be a coordinator, I have many FISH duties to keep up with, and doing them was a saving grace for me. I was giving, and it felt so good. My heart danced again, and I could finally sing “Hallelujah.”
What does a FISH volunteer with COVID do? What does she do when she has to leave her home? She gives, and gives, and gives until all of the happiness she has given comes back to her!
Try it yourself – it works.