Three Years Later: Who Loves a Parade?!

Three years since March 12, 2020, when everyone was talking about this mysterious illness that no one knew anything about other than it was potentially deadly. It was three years ago on a Thursday that Veruca’s school announced a two-week closure starting Monday, when I decided that she wasn’t going to school on Friday.

Three years ago today Opac texted me that his college was making an announcement around 9 p.m. Three hours later he was home, all his belongings packed into the pickup truck, and he was safely snug in his bed.

Todd’s college had already closed. I went to work as usual and no one was masking yet. At that time, it was believed that we didn’t need to mask. Of course that would change. I remember asking one of the veteran nurses, who had also raised a Type 1 child, what her thoughts were on V moving between two houses. Her response? I wouldn’t do it. I made the very difficult decision to send V to her dad’s indefinitely.

You know what they say about hindsight. So many things we know now, and so many things I could’ve done differently. The “pandemic,” in retrospect, I blame for everything. Almost everything. Our lives changed dramatically in 2020, because of COVID-19. The pandemic, in so many ways, upended MY life, destroyed the relationship I had with my children – no, strike that – the pandemic was an opportunity for someone else to destroy my relationship with my children.

Three years later, I had a brief moment of “maybe,” but nothing has changed. I wanted to write about it in a post but not here. Not here.

Three years later, Todd changed jobs and careers and is busier than ever. I am still in the same job and as happy as can be expected. We have some family issues we hadn’t anticipated but ultimately we’re all still together and that’s something. I live one day at a time, pray for the important things, and count my blessings. I am not one to sit on my ass and cry every day for my losses. I think of them every day, but I am a fighter and that is something that will never change.

I have Neph, who continues to check in and I don’t know if he knows I have a soft spot for him but he keeps calling anyway. (For the record, I also have a soft spot for Nephtoo but he’s too busy for handholding with me.) I have my brother, who I get to see every week since he’s now working with Todd for the same organization. I have a handful of friends I speak to at least weekly, several women I feel honored to be a friend to and trusted by, and a young lady I adore and have designated my honorary niecelet.

Three years later I am honoring all the people in my life Who Show Up. That’s all I can ask for, even when the tears come easily during a particularly emotional song or the emptiness in my heart feels too much. I find ways to have Joy – remember the original title of my blog? Finding Joy. I was finding it. Now, I seek it. And to the haters – it’s called SURVIVAL.

Anyhoo, Todd asked me a week or so ago if I wanted to go to a parade or something with one of the Mustangs. I was like, sure! Why not?

This morning I found out that I was again not listening to my husband when he asked me and it turned out we were driving the 2001 GT convertible in the Baltimore St. Patrick’s Day Parade. We were meeting the club off site in Baltimore at 11:30 and the parade wasn’t scheduled for 2:00 and we would be bringing up the rear, which meant 3 p.m. ALL DAY. Hadn’t planned on all day but I rolled with it (haha) and it was such a great time.

I have So Many Photos and there were fairies there, one furry*, men in kilts with bagpipes, high school marching units, and lots of people waving Ireland flags and I began to think I really need to get on with my genealogy research because I have roots in Scotland and Germany and it would be fun to know if there’s any Irish in there too since it’s always been a question. The Oriole bird was there too and snuck up on me while I was sitting in the convertible and looking the other way so that was startling and memorable.

I haven’t been in a parade since my daughter was in Girl Scouts and this is A Whole Lot Different than that so we’re driving in a line of Mustangs, some revving their engines and the people along the route were yelling rev it up! The Rousch was the loudest IMO and I just wanted to tell Todd to not even try. The whole experience was surreal, being IN a major parade in a car with the top down so there’s nowhere to hide and there are literally hundreds of people along the route. I can now say that I’m in at least two dozen people’s videos that I don’t even know.

It felt like it might feel being a celebrity arriving for the Oscars and I imagined what it would be like…. Tara! Tara! What are you wearing?

And I would run my hand over my ivory polyester beanie hat and say, Gap skinny high-rise jeans and green Gap crew neck sweater over a black Walmart cami, Arturo Chiang black moto boots with a loose heel that has fallen off twice since I got here. Burgundy puffer jacket by Vince Camuto. Ivory scarf to hide double chin and hat on sale from Boscov’s. Cubic Z earrings and sterling silver cross necklace from mom, wedding and engagement rings by Shaw Jewelers, Lapis lazuli ring by Novica, and Fitbit by …. Fitbit.Nails by Static Nails. Makeup by Laura Geller and Clinique. Hair under the beanie by Tara Herself.

And smile that 15-watt smile with a double chin because I don’t GAF.

*Furries: “They often strongly identify with anthropomorphic animals and create fursonas, identities of themselves as those anthropomorphic animals.” Source: NIH. There is So Much More, but I don’t have time or space for this right now. You can read more here,themselves%20as%20those%20anthropomorphic%20animals.

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