TanYah is a versatile writer whose had such a wide range of life experiences its like her own life story is fiction.She has authored several books and just finds writing the best therapeutic tool for good mental health & social change
Man you are the king and everyday your wisdom is required, Everyday a kingdom with the lives of your own rely on you, Tis not an easy thing to rule,
Soul cries and body shakes, Soul sighs and body aches, Soul cries and mind wonders why, Wonders why soul cries, Soul cries and weeps wail,
Maybe its over and I have not cultivated the willingness, The willingness to move forward from yesterday, Maybe its over and I’m not ready to accept,
So now the term social distancing has become not just a rule of how we engage in public spaces but also a way of interacting with others even close friends and family. So, I went to visit with my friend who I have not been able to connect with physically for months and while there her daughter called, and she explained she to her that she was social distancing with me. I mentally went Wow! I am socially distancing not visiting with, or hanging out with my friend, but social distancing with her. You almost have to say it out aloud to hear it for it to register in your mind. Yep! People this is where the pandemic has brought us and no matter how hard we try; we just cannot seem to wake up from the sci-fi end time thriller. It is not so hard now to imagine a world where intimate touching becomes outlawed. Before 2020 it would have been unimaginable, but it certainly is not that farfetched anymore.
My husband’s mother has been in and out of the hospital this past few months. This has been a journey of health challenges she has been facing for over a decade now. The last time she was ill my husband was away and so I had to go to visit with her three hours away and had to spend the night with her in the hospital. It made him happy and gave him peace, to know someone was there with her. Sometimes we take these things for granted. And in a society where we have been taught to expect opportunities and services as an entitlement, its crazy that in a few short months much of this has been stripped away. Nobody could have ever imagined that opportunities like spending time with our loved ones or supporting them and being able to connect with them physically to encourage them could be taken away. But in this era of COVID-19 that is exactly what has happened and much has changed, and many things often taken for granted has been taken away. And it has left the most vulnerable populations of the elderly, sick and recovering family members, friends and loved ones alone.
I have a saying I use when I need to focus my mind and ignore a consistent annoyance, ‘be the (issue)'. We have some bugs where I live that come about in the summertime called Gnats, and they annoy me beyond words. So, when we are outside enjoying the weather and they are persistently plaguing us, I say to my kids 'be the Gnats' and they try to focus their minds through deep breathing on our activities and less on the Gnats. So, now COVID-19 has changed our lives and our minds struggle to develop new habits like wearing masks and social distancing. Both are incredibly challenging for me because I am Jamaican and we are expressive with nods, touches, jabs and pokes and a very interactive hello, but I'm learning. You see I am mindful of the pandemic's reality even though I have no fear in it. My attention or you can say my faith is placed on being proactive to boost the spiritual and immunological aspect of the members of my household. So, prayer, diet, exercise, water, detoxing, and lots of sun are our priority. But we do not ignore precautions and the law.
As a kid my mother would work what seemed like forever, but it was, just almost all the time. And I don’t know how she was able to get extra hours on top of the twenty-four in a day but she did. My mother migrated to America with her parents back in the 1960s with hopes of a glorious life. And in my childish innocence I honestly thought money grew here on tress in a city with golden paved streets. That picture got lodged in my mind leading up to the months before we left the island. I overheard some relatives talk to my father about what sounded like a magical place this America, that would transform us from the simplicity of living in a strong family and community knitted together by a sense of being one people to wealthy household that would be able to help so many others. My father was given an opportunity and although he was reluctant he couldn’t pass up the offer to go and work with his uncle in the ‘New York City’ and make a better life for his family. But the reality we woke up to after two weeks of long work days, racism and a different kind of social injustice, and disillusionment of a better quality of life planted themselves like the coconut trees back home in Jamaica that withstood category five hurricanes and times of drought.
A decade ago, there was a big focus on children and orphans infected and affected by HIV/AIDS. There was so much death and tens of thousands of children were emotionally, physically, socially and economically displaced. People were facing discrimination from being directly and indirectly being affected. I remember when a close relative died of AIDS and the rest of the family was too scared to tell anyone the truth. But one day I was giving a television interview and told our story and my poor sister called saying people at work may now treat her as if she has it. I know right! The ignorance, but it was the reality then.