• Jody Kussin

Family Matters #21 Angels

Updated: May 14, 2020

In These Times April 2020

My Winnipeg cousins Sheri and Susan said they were being called heroes, and they/we agree that’s too strong a word. We are reserving that word for all our direct care providers - physicians, nurses, physician assistants, maintenance workers in clinics and hospitals, and the hundreds of thousands of others walking INTO and not away from the virus.

However, I for sure think it’s ok to call them angels.

While we in California are sheltered in place experiencing the rare/occasional rainy day, we mostly live in the land of perpetual summertime. It’s a challenge for us to not head to the beach, because usually, we can be at the ocean 367 days of the year. Assuming we can find a parking spot. So, while our ability to move around the state has been impeded, we are staying in place in a bright inviting space. We are still walking our dogs and having cocktail parties on the lawn while visiting the neighbors out having cocktails on their lawns. We are working on our base for the summer tan (yes, it’s bad for us but…. really?!) We are jogging and training for marathons, or half marathons, or 5ks, or to hit our 10,000 daily steps requirement. Our children can blow bubbles outdoors, wash their plastic furniture, and even, on many days, set up the blow-up pool or jump into the large pool.

In Winnipeg, however, literally deemed one of the five coldest cities on planet earth, it is actively snowing and freezing cold. Adhering to the COVID-19 rules and regs there means you are STUCK. There are only so many fires in your home fireplace that make you feel cozy – on the 28th you just are feeling smokey and stinky. There are only so many games of cards you can play until you’re no longer impressed with yourself for beating your six-year old at gin rummy, and who has the energy to actually learn bridge this week? Or even this month? And while online poker has its charms, even that becomes tiresome at some point. So my cousins are making home deliveries, in the snow, of groceries. They are distributing food not only to high risk folk and ‘shut ins’, but also, to vulnerable and marginalized folk in their area. So far, they’ve delivered to 50 individuals with a long list left. Some of the food is donated and paid for by the local First Nations community and some is paid for by my cousins. In their little TOUKS (knit hats) and massive jackets and sturdy boots, they drop off of food and visit from six feet away and sometimes shoveling snow for a stranger provides a little sunshine on a more than blustery day.

While we have many heroes, who are the angels among us? Are we seeing them? Being them? Supporting them to come forward? Now is the time. If not now, when?

Little acts of compassion and kindness go a long way. Bonus – helping others gives us a sense of happiness. Win-win. Solitaire on your phone will be waiting for you when you get home.

Need an angel? Wanna be an angel? Now is the time.

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