By Kathryn Foskey
Reflections on the COVID-19 pandemic by three sisters who grew up on a farm in Madison. Kathryn Foskey is retired from Pennington Seed, Carol Seabolt is Vice President of Finance, Central Garden & Pet Inc. and Ellen Beckham is a retired Kindergarten teacher and current employee of Bank of Madison.
Reflections from Kathryn Foskey:
Everyone has been affected by the pandemic in one way or another. As I put my thoughts on paper, I realize it’s just another phase of a spiritual journey for me. My faith leads me to know that all is well in spite of the disturbing days we’re living in.
Whether you live by faith or not, you cannot deny that in EVERY case, the Bible holds true from the beginning to the end. Many scriptures come to mind as we navigate through this pandemic trying to find peace and make sense of it all. 2 Chronicles 7:14 tells us, “If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.” Prayer is such a powerful tool and privilege!
I do not like this situation any more than those of you who are reading this. My precious Mother is a resident of an elder care facility in Monroe and she is well taken care of. I could not feel any more grateful for that. Nonetheless, my family grieves every day that we are unable to see her because of the quarantine. It is heartbreaking and no one knows when things will change, however, we count it a blessing that she is safe and well cared for. Psalm 77 teaches us to find comfort during hard times by recalling God’s help and provision in times past. It’s true, recalling times when life seemed safer and easier helps us to be more grateful in times like these.
We have beautiful memories to reflect on and remind us how awesome our lives really are. I recall that just as this pandemic was hitting, the Lord was blessing us with a glorious springtime! There’s nothing more ethereal than waking up to sunshine, singing birds and a feeling that the day is brand new and made just for us! I found a certain peace as the leaves were beginning to unfurl and cast their shady canopies just as surely as the trees had stood naked through the days of winter. As the news media continued to bring us the unsettling news of the pandemic, and shut-downs were occurring, the daffodils were dressing themselves in gorgeous blooms and the dogwoods were turning whiter by the day. A reminder of the wonder, presence, provision and power of Almighty God!
I’ve also thought about my late Father much during these days and wondered what his wisdom would impart about the pandemic. He would not be frightened but he would certainly be disturbed, mainly about his family and how we would be protected from this enemy. Worshipping online would be very foreign to him, but I’m sure he would enlist one of us children to come over so he and Mama could hear the service and worship from home. Our Dad was a farmer and small engine mechanic so the pandemic would not have slowed his day to day activities because he was always home on the farm. Like the rest of us, he loved people so not being able to shake hands or share a friendly hug would be a difficult “new norm” for him. In fact, it was so much a part of his gentlemanly ways that I’m not sure he could break the habit. We miss him so much, but somehow I feel grateful that he is not here to see how the pandemic has changed the world.
I recall days from childhood when on Sunday afternoons following church, some of our family and friends would stop by and we would sit out under the giant oak trees visiting and reminiscing with a glass of tea in hand. Those were special times when life seemed so much more laid back and easy. People stayed home more and that was a good thing. On Sunday evenings we would go back to church for Training Union and Worship Service. Occasionally, we would stop by the Freez-ette on the way home for a hot dog and root beer in a frosted mug and what a treat that was! Our family was certainly not rich in monetary standards, but we were rich in love, family and faith. With five children, both parents worked hard all day, every day. All five of us grew up believing we were rich and really, we were. What a privilege to grow up like this!
During this time of reflection and staying home to protect the health and safety of others as well as myself, I long for the days from which my memories come. My son called last week to tell me that some neighborhood children were crouched in his yard looking for 4-leaf clovers. He asked if I remembered doing this when he was younger and of course I did. A short while later, he and his wife called to excitedly tell me they had found three. I laughed and told him Jim and I were out scavenging for 4-leaf clovers too!
I’m a firm believer that there is no higher calling than serving God. Each time I have faced hurdles and crises’ in my life, it is my faith that has seen me safely through. “To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven.” Ecclesiastes 3:1. My plan is to emerge stronger, wiser and even more grateful as we recover from this pandemic. It’s all part of fighting the good fight and sliding in safely at the finish line as we journey through life. God bless!