Friends, as a Rock Island girl, I’m writing this note from my home office while in “lockdown”.  Our worlds have been turned upside-down. What we thought we knew even a week ago has been turned on its ear.  Since we have no control over the pandemic, the political response or our economy, it’s time to stand up and take charge of the only thing we can control: our attitude and response to “all this crazy”.  People tend to fall into one of two camps: “glass half-empty” people or “glass-half-full” folks. If we all get out of our narrow lanes, we’ll find that we are drawn to those in the latter group as they emit positive energy that heals the fear and anxiety that we’re all naturally feeling.  Wouldn’t it be great if we could all put our fear aside for a bit and focus on the possibility that our situation might birth a re-focus on what’s really important: strengthening our relationships with family and friends and showing compassion to others?

My daughter lives with her husband in Atlanta, GA (not on “lockdown”) and her neighborhood is very lively with lots of kids and dogs and visiting back and forth.  To build community, this weekend, they hosted a “Social Distancing Scavenger Hunt”. Every family was responsible for drawing a large heart and posting it in a visible, yet “semi-hidden” spot on their property like an upstairs window or in some bushes.  Each family, then, keeping to the street competed to see which one could identify the largest number of hearts. How cool is that?! Might you craft a “Quad-Cities version” in your own neighborhood?

I want to close with a story about one of those “glass-half-full” people I am blessed to have in my life who has provided me with some hope these last days.  Sandi is a widow, 81-years-young (high-risk group), who lost the love of her life 4 years ago. I talked to her Saturday and she told me about waking up that morning.  “I looked out my window as I lay in bed and saw the sun streaming in. I was so grateful for the sunshine and the gift of a new day in the middle of COVID-19.” Today, please join me in digging deep and putting on a little “Sandi” for all those we encounter.

Be well!

Best wishes,

Heidi Huiskamp Collins