#RWISA “RISE-UP” TOUR DAY 1, Harriet Hodgson, @HEALTHMN1 #RRBC #RRBC_Community #RWISARiseUp

2020 RWISA RISE UP TOUR BANNER

With Hands Clasped:  Thoughts of the Pandemic

by Harriet Hodgson

As COVID-19 spread across the land, Americans were directed to stay home. This news led to all sorts of questions. What will we do for entertainment? How will we teach the kids? Will we run out of food? As weeks passed, many Americans felt confined, even imprisoned. Not me. A freelancer for 38+ years, I was used to working at home.

My husband and I have been married for 62 years. “I love you more today than yesterday,” I often say. Staying home with him was a blessing. Pulitzer Prize winner Mary Oliver, in one of her poems, uses the phrase “with hands clasped.” I lived her words with hands clasped in memory, in caregiving, in creativeness, in gratefulness, and in hope.

In memory . . .

When World War II started, I was four years old. COVID-19 made me anxious and scared. These feelings caused war memories to become vivid again: food rationing, gas rationing, digging potatoes in our Victory Garden, Mom working in a wartime factory, and air raid blackouts. Odd that a pandemic would cause memories to resurface, yet a world war and world virus are similar. Many experts compared fighting the virus to a war, one we would win.

In caregiving . . .

I have cared for three generations of family members. This is my 23rd year in the caregiving trenches. In 2013 my husband’s aorta dissected and he had three emergency operations. When he woke up, he was paraplegic, unable to use his lower body or legs. The night I drove him to the hospital, I became his caregiver, and believe caregiving is love in action. Retired doctors and nurses rallied to fight COVID-19. I added virus protection to my caregiving To Do list.

In creativeness . . .

I have always been a creative person. While I sheltered at home, I revised two workbooks I wrote for grieving kids, edited a children’s picture book, explored doodle art, baked up a storm, and emailed publishers. So far, I have written thousands of articles and 38 books. Two publishers accepted the children’s books. Because of the pandemic, however, production of the grief books is on hold. The children’s picture book is still in production.

In gratefulness . . .

Americans are interdependent and need each other. COVID-19 showed that truckers, store clerks, housekeepers, home sewers, lab techs and countless others are heroes too. Staying home made me realize, yet again, that little things, such as the first robin of spring, are big things. As usual, I was grateful for my wacky sense of humor.  (Yes, I laugh at my own jokes.)

Since I could not be physically close to others, I reached out in different ways. I sent surprise gifts to some, was a guest on blog talk radio, signed up for another show, posted book videos on social media, increased email to family members, gave books to friends and strangers. Though I am a kind person, I tried to be kinder, a lesson many learned from the virus. I also vowed to slow down a bit.

In hope . . .

I have survived cancer surgery and open-heart surgery. Each morning, when I awaken, I ask myself, “How can I make the most of the miracle of my life?” At age 84 I am still discovering pieces of my unknown self. Thanks to experience, I know how to adapt to the changes of life. I also know some changes are easy, and others test the soul.

Poet John O’Donohue, in his book To Bless the Space Between Us, refers to changes as thresholds. Thresholds can make emotions like confusion, fear, excitement, sadness, and hope come alive. It is wise to recognize and acknowledge thresholds, O’Donohue continues, and I have tried to do this.

The pandemic pushed America to a threshold, one that will define our nation. Let us cross this threshold together with kindness, dignity, and mutual respect. Let us cross with hands clasped in love.

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“Thanks for supporting me!”

HarrietHodgson2014-websize-square

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Thank you for supporting today’s RWISA author along the RWISA “RISE-UP” Blog Tour!  To follow along with the rest of the tour, please visit the main RWISA “RISE-UP” Blog Tour page on the RWISA site.  For a chance to win a bundle of 15 e-books along with a $5 Amazon gift card, please leave a comment below and on the main RWISA “RISE-UP”Blog Tour page!  Thank you and good luck!  

43 Comments

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  1. Kudos to you for all you have endured. I too have been through so much. Keep joyfully living! I hope someway, somehow I am also helping people.

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  2. Harriet, your compassion and caring shine through in this post as they do in everything you write. I am happy you are in the world!

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  3. Harriet, I loved this and because you took the time to share it, I’m going to make the time to implement your advice – with hands clasped. Thanks!

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  4. Wow! Harriet, I nearly missed you here! Your husband is a very lucky man to have you. Love conquers all.

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  5. Very moving piece Harriet. It was a pleasure being among the many to host you yesterday. Looks like you had a great day.

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  6. Harriet, it seems you’ve had a ton of company on your stop! Good for you!

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  7. D.L. Finn, Author May 7, 2020 — 8:49 am

    Very inspirational, Harriet! Very moving.

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  8. Harriet – I really enjoyed your insights on the world around us right now. Thank you for sharing! Heather

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  9. harriethodgson May 6, 2020 — 11:48 pm

    I love O’Donohue’s poetry.

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  10. Inspiring, Harriet! A lovely share…

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  11. peggyhattendorfcom May 6, 2020 — 9:58 pm

    Harriet, this is a wonderful post to start off our RWISA Blog Tour. Thank you for sharing this heartfelt article.

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  12. Shirley Harris-Slaughter May 6, 2020 — 9:25 pm

    Very nice piece Harriet.

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  13. A delightful piece of writing, Harriet. Enjoy your tour today.

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  14. Your thoughts are beautifully expressed, Harriet! Uplifting, thought-provoking, and certainly inspirational. I’m happy to reblog it! Praying for your continued good health.

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    • harriethodgson May 6, 2020 — 11:49 pm

      Thank you for your positive comments and prayers. I am blessed to be alive and so is my husband. The fact that he is alive after his aorta dissected is a miracle.

      Like

  15. Hi Harriet. My original comment disappeared. What I said was hopefully more embrace the concepts of kindness, dignity, and mutual respect. A very lovely post.

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  16. Harriet, your piece filled me with calm, and I thank you for that. 🙂

    Like

  17. Reblogged this on PTL Perrin Writes… and commented:
    by Harriet Hodgson — As COVID-19 spread across the land, Americans were directed to stay home. This news led to all sorts of questions. What will we do for entertainment? How will we teach the kids? Will we run out of food? As weeks passed, many Americans felt confined, even imprisoned. Not me. A freelancer for 38+ years, I was used to working at home.

    Like

  18. Harriet, this is such an uplifting piece – just what we all need right now. Comparing the atmosphere of today to WWII resonated, too, because of the many stories we have heard about the sacrifices our parents (and, in some cases, grandparents, for you “young’uns” out there) made during that time. Thank you for an outstanding piece of writing!

    Like

  19. This was a fantastic post, Harriet. Thank you. I had to reblog it. 😀

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  20. Reblogged this on Rhani DChae and commented:
    Please take a few minutes to read this wonderful post from #RWISA author, Harriet Hodgson.

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  21. What a lovely, heart-warming post! Harriet, I like your positivity and the message of togetherness. We are all in this together. 65 years of togetherness is a blessing! I wish you and yours a healthy life. Take care, your love for others is reaching my heart. Thank you.

    Like

  22. Reblogged this on Writing and Music and commented:
    Harriet Hodgson kicks off the 2020 “RWISA RISE-UP” Blog tour with a beautiful post!

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  23. I love this post, Harriet. It is a beautiful testimony to the human spirit and to your loving heart!

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  24. Your thoughts are likely mirrored by many. The pandemic has reminded us of what is important.

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  25. Gracie Bradford May 6, 2020 — 12:20 pm

    Reblogged this on GRACIE BRADFORD: Grandma Midnight Book Reviews – Sassy and Outspoken and commented:
    Great insight and inspiration. Please read.

    Like

  26. Gracie Bradford May 6, 2020 — 12:17 pm

    I woke up early listening to the hard rain from the storm. Out of habit, I checked my phone for updates. Harriet’s blog tour immediately caught my eye. Her writings reminded me to be thankful for life and living. Another person’s journey is so much more profound than being confined to home for a few months. Let’s stay safe and protect each other.

    Like

  27. Harriet, this is wonderful, you are such a caring person, and an inspiration for other authors with your positive drive!

    Like

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