Be patient, be gentle, be kind

Today my father was diagnosed with pneumonia. He’s already been weakened by twelve days of recurring fever. Despite his best attempts to stay strong, he’s lost a lot of weight.

When I learned that he has tested positive for Covid-19 last week, I was worried. But I also managed to convince myself that he’ll be fine. After all, he’s been in good health and still young enough.

Today, however, I’ve lost those illusions. Things have gotten serious now and there’s no denying it. He doesn’t have to be treated in a hospital yet, so there’s still hope.

I wish I could put my feelings into words. Maybe this would help me to put them aside, to make room for better thoughts, to stop worrying for a while. Unfortunately, my brain isn’t functioning well. It’s difficult for me to think clearly. So I’m going to skip all that.

Instead, I would like to express my gratitude.

I’m thankful for all the the support of the doctors and nurses, the family members, good friends and neighbors. The amount of help my father receives really is incredible. I couldn’t ask for more.

But there’s more. I’m incredibly fortunate to have compassionate colleagues. Over the years we’ve established a high level of trust. As a result, I felt confident enough to share what I am going through.

Today, I was able to bring my whole self to work. And this really helped. It helped, because I didn’t have to pretend. I didn’t have to pour my limited energy into keeping up a facade.

Not everyone is as privileged as I am though. There are countless people who are struggling, but are forced to hide it for fear of losing their jobs. Others choose to keep their problems to themselves for different reasons. Remember this next time you talk to your neighbors, your colleagues or even your boss.

Anyone you meet might be fighting a battle you will never know about.

So be patient, be gentle, be kind.