The Covid 19 pandemic has exacerbated already existing stressors — from work to health to life. We can all share staggering 2020 tidbits. And, we’ll believe it because we lived it. There will come a time when we will laugh as we remember. But for now, the tears still glisten. The stress still bubbles. The worry still consumes us.
Grocery shopping became the only outlet for many of us. Sadly, the comfort of familiarity turned into alien time zones as lines of spaced masks ensured we stayed 6 feet apart. Everything zapped us. Don’t touch, focus, find what you need, get it, wait, pay and go. Hurry to leave.
So a couple of weeks ago, I was startled when hope streamed in. It seems that lowered CAR scores and vaccination availability is lowering the island’s blood pressure. Actually feeling the difference caught me off guard.
At Mangilao Payless, Brian takes care of the meat section which is always clean, organized and plentiful. He does a superb job. This day, as he helped me locate ground chicken, eye contact returned. His smile beamed through his mask. It was always there but that day, I allowed myself to receive it. My energy was refreshed. As I moved toward the cashier, someone greeted me by name –with a note of happiness! Oh, my. Life is revitalized.
I left with a lighter step.
While life may never be like 2019, it is so wonderful that essential aspects are being revived.
Being my dad’s daughter, I love watching TV. I just do. No apologies either. When Magnum PI returned, I cheered! It was an actual TV production – not a zoom production. The show is funny and enjoyable where a team of people like working together. Filmed in Hawaii, the sights and sounds rekindle my joy for ohana. The return of shows gives hope and love. SYM Dr. Shieh for sponsoring Hawaii Five-0 then, and Magnum PI now.
Reading a class chat, the family photo of Paula Montinola Blas caught my attention. Happiness and beauty radiated from her and Bob to their children and grandchildren. Smiles were wide as love resonated. You can’t help but smile back. Simply lovely.
For the last two years, I had the privilege of being an evaluator for Spark, a grant awarded to West Care that focuses on reviving and strengthening the health and happiness of couples. With the leadership of Aja Ramos, 349 couples believed their communication skills, coping skills, financial management skills and parenting skills improved.
Even under the cloud of the pandemic, classes continued. Job support and case management succeeded. Aja and her team, Jen, Millie, Clarissa, Regina and others provide the promise of Guam’s ability to succeed, to rejuvenate through trying times. They represent the genius of Guam and it is reassuring to know that today’s leaders are smart, capable, caring, hard-workers and culturally competent.
One day, Za I discovered Leo in the Morning on The Kat. His program fills the air waves with the music of the seventies — a decade of great memories. I smile and sing and smile and sing some more. Life is refreshed through Leo’s light banter and incredible music selection. TY!
Yes & Know was first printed 2016-2018. Without question, Mar-Vic welcomed me back. Being wanted rejuvenates the soul. Goodness, faith and hard work are a part of Mar-Vic’s DNA. It is no surprise that Mar-Vic’s brainchild, the Pacific Island Times, is celebrating its 5th year. Bravo!
Yes, there is much recovery to be made throughout our island and throughout the world. Yes, there is much catch-up work to be done in classrooms and at businesses. But, know that as Guam succeeds, nuggets of hope and love will usher in that progress. Realize your nuggets as we remember that because Guam’s people are the best, the best is yet to come. We pray.
Aline Yamashita is a mom, a teacher and former senator. She served in the 31st and 32 Guam Legislatures. You may write to her at firstname.lastname@example.org.