I work as a flight attendant, and I love my job. Originally I accepted the position for the flight benefits to see my daughter, but it’s become less of a job and more of an identity: I’m Amy, the flight attendant. I deal with so many issues on a daily basis with confidence–turbulence, anxiety, emergencies, disruptive passengers–I’ve seen it all. But I’ve never experienced anything like Covid-19.
I was on a work trip in Albany, New York, in early March when I realized how dire things were becoming with Covid-19. The President gave a speech about how this virus was suddenly spreading like wildfire and we would soon be closing borders to other countries. The fact that my daughter and I might be separated indefinitely weighed on me. I felt an impending doom coming on, but I had no idea just how bad things might become.
Then I saw a video about what happened in China and how people were in lockdown and wearing masks and sanitizing every bit of their clothes after going out. The reality rained on me hard and fast, and I was suddenly drowning and gasping for air. I realized the same thing could and would happen to our country.
That morning I had only to work a short flight from Albany to Philadelphia, and my anxiety went through the roof. I used gloves and hand sanitizer to the point my hands were chapped, and I knew at that moment that life as I knew it would never be the same for a very long time.
Now it’s been a couple months since the initial outbreak and things are just beginning to open up as the “new normal,” whatever that means, takes effect. My job is on the line and I’m unable to travel to England, my second home. Will my life ever be normal again?
I know that many people are going through hard times, but I feel like my whole life has been about overcoming. And while I have had to deal with my own regrets and poor decisions in the past, I’ve gotten through it, even in the darkest days. Because I’ve never faced anything alone.
The hardest part is not knowing when I can see my little girl again. I know many are in my unfortunate situation of being separated from their children. It’s hard in a way many cannot fathom, but I’ve been dealing with this for a long time. My daughter and I are closer than anyone. If we can do it, anyone can.
Praying for a Miracle
Sometimes I think that many of us who struggle do so specifically to help and inspire others. Maybe that’s why I’m writing my story. Maybe that’s why I’ve endured the pain of an unhappy marriage, losing custody, and a daughter in another country. And maybe that’s God’s plan for me, to help others through my gift of writing.
All I know is that I will see her soon, and when I do it will be a reunion unlike any other so I can look forward to that wonderful day. But for now, we can video chat and tell each other “I love you,” when cuddles are no longer possible.
I’ve been praying for a miracle since things first went awry. I do believe in miracles, and I believe God is watching out for me, for us. He has always allowed us to be together, and in a few weeks I’m hoping that we can be. Until then we can only never lose hope, never give up and stay strong. Love will always prevail.
Amy Shawley writes from Pennsylvania.
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