When I close my eyes and think of the word February, I see the word love. I see the colors of warmth and affection, red and pink.
Unfortunately, when I think specifically of February 2021, I also see grey.
First came Covid-19 symptoms, which led to a positive Covid-19 test, which then led to several weeks of quarantining and restless discomfort. My husband and sons didn’t get sick, however, and I’ve recovered. We are lucky, and I am grateful.
Next came snow and ice and electricity failures. Days and nights of freezing temperatures with no power, no heat. We fared better than most, and again, I’m grateful. For some, the situation was extremely bad. For some, far too many, the situation was deadly.
Then, without electricity and heat, the water stopped flowing. Later, in the thaw, the water raced through once-frozen pipes, finding the weak spots, punching holes in the metal. It poured into homes and buildings, through ceilings, out of walls, up through floors, finding all possible exits and creating new ones where none existed.
Again, my family and I escaped the worst – not all of it, but our experience was mild in comparison with the experiences of many others. We were fortunate. But lots of other people weren’t.
Still, in the midst of the frozen heartbreak, there were moments of warmth. Neighbors looked after each other. Emergency personnel never stopped providing care and protection. Employees at grocery stores and restaurants did what they could to get food and supplies to the those who needed them. People stepped up to get it done – “it” being whatever was most needed in the moment, even if that was simply a few sticks of firewood or a bottle of water.
Now that the snow has melted, that empathy, resilience, and compassion hasn’t ended. Instead, it’s bloomed. Lots of organizations are marshaling their people and resources to support those who’ve lost so much, those who must recover and rebuild. If you’re in a position to assist, your help is greatly appreciated. I’ve listed a few of them below, and a quick internet search will find additional options that would welcome whatever you can give.
Yes, when I close my eyes and think of February 2021, I see grey. But, I also see yellow and orange, the colors of hope and generosity, courage and kindness. And the red and the pink are also there, front and center.
February is still the month of love.
North Texas Food Bank – https://ntfb.org
Tarrant Area Food Bank – https://tafb.org
Central Texas Food Bank – https://www.centraltexasfoodbank.org
American Red Cross – https://www.redcross.org
Meals on Wheels – https://www.mealsonwheelsamerica.org