I have so many words in my head and need to get them out. What has started as brainstorming an Instagram caption has developed into more that I need to capture before I forget. I know many were talking about the one year anniversary of COVID-19 this past Thursday, but for me it will always be today.
One year ago today was Friday the 13th, March 2020. I woke up and had already determined I was going to stop for the large coffee on the way to work since it was Friday the 13th, I was opening the lobby, and Walt Disney Parks and Resorts had just announced their largest closure in history. At the time, it was projected to be two weeks. I went into work not knowing what that meant for me, since I was working in the Casting office and not one of the parks. There had been subtle hints for the previous weeks saying we might be involved in a closure as well. Our computers getting off network access, being told to take our laptops home every night “just in case”. Finally, for at least one group, the call had been made. I waited from 7:30 am – 12:00 pm for a meeting to be called informing us of what this meant for us. Even our bosses didn’t know exactly what was happening. We waiting to hear from our bosses what they heard from their bosses what THEY heard from executive leadership. Finally, the meeting was called telling us we would be included in the two week closure and would be working from home. Action items started taking place to call new cast members to cancel onboarding appointments and Traditions. We all had an air of glee, two-weeks of not having to come into the office! For me, this time was going to be spent at home with my parents in Oklahoma. So I was excited for the time spent at home. We went about the rest of our days preparing for the closure. As I left that day, we all turned to each other and said “See you in two weeks!” I think about these words a lot.
Today is the one-year anniversary of “see you in two weeks”… and I am still incredibly saddened. I am officially at the one year anniversary of my last day working in my dream job. The job I had worked so hard to get. The job I was so proud of myself for being one of the few chosen. The job I turned my life upside down to move to Florida to perform. I have had many happy memories in the last year as well. I got to spend more precious time with my family. I got a new job that I love with a great company here in my home town. I got engaged to my now-fiancé and we are planning our wedding and our life together. I found my precious puppy Remy and brought him home. I got vaccinated against the same virus that led to the “two week” shut down. So many wonderful things have happened in the last year! But I’m not going to force myself to bring those to memory when I am feeling sad today. Today I get to spend in thought and feel grief for all that I have lost this past year as well. Even though we may be doing great now, I am still sad and mourning all that was lost over the past year. We are all allowed to be sad, even if we have wonderful things in our lives. We are allowed to take it slow today and remember how the world was just one year ago today.