Juneteenth

Happy Juneteenth, everyone!

I have to admit, I didn’t know about this part of history until I was an adult. Like, in the last five years. Same goes for the Tulsa Race Massacre, which I had to see dramatized in Watchmen in order for it to hit home. I’m embarrassed about that.

It feels weird wishing others to be happy on this day. Especially to those whose enslaved ancestors suffered firsthand. While it is a celebration of freedom, so much oppression and pain are connected to that. But I do hope Black people will be able to find happiness.

On days surrounding today and the anniversary of George Floyd’s death, resources for learning about Black History flood my social media. I’m so very grateful for that. I use those resources throughout the year to find ways to take real action, to turn abstractions and intellectual exercise into practice and heart for my fellow human beings. I’m learning not to be performative. I’m learning to listen better to know better, so that I can do better.

It’s still a work in progress. I hope we all can help each other.

Family Sunday Dinner

When we were dating, Reilly brought me to his family’s house for Sunday dinner. We’ve maintained this tradition every week, when we’re not sick or away traveling. It’s a nice time, and I can relax a little before returning to work Monday.

Early on during the pandemic, we erred on the side of caution. We spent at least a month away not going to Sunday dinner. We discussed it with the folks living in that house, and after some time we decided it would be safe enough to eat together as long as we wore masks.

And then in the fall a coworker of Reilly’s dad contracted COVID, and that coworker casually mentioned that he had an appointment for a COVID test, because he was experiencing symptoms. And that coworker didn’t take wearing masks seriously.

So Reilly’s dad caught COVID. And nearly everyone who lived in that house also caught it, including his sister and youngest brother.

So we spent another month not going to Sunday dinner.

Not complaining. Just stating the way things were.

We’ve been careful over the past year. When vaccines became available in December and January, Reilly became one of the first to get one. And everyone in his family eventually got one. Even the ones who caught COVID, since it still hasn’t been established how long that type of immunity lasts.

Everyone who would attend Sunday dinner became immune.

We went to dinner last night, and we didn’t wear our masks.

It was weird, especially after spending the past year with our public safety habit. We would have our masks off while we ate, but as soon as we finished, we’d put our masks back on. We didn’t have to do that last night.

It was nice.

Now if more people in this state would get vaccinated or otherwise practice mask safety.

We shall see.