Time of Reflection- 2020
2020 was definitely a year of challenges, mentally, physically and emotionally. It was a year of loss. When the pandemic started, there were no visitors allowed in the hospital in order to minimize exposure and transmission. This took a toll on many patients, families and healthcare workers. The hardest part of my job was watching those who lost loved ones to Covid-19, yet unable to be there to say good-bye. As we adjusted to the "new normal", we learned to embrace the power of virtual reunion. I personally was supposed to visit home and see my family. However, due to the pandemic, that did not happen. It was a very frustrating time, as I took care of patients who were very sick, not able to see their families. I was in a similar position- losing my grandfather two days after Christmas and unable to be there. All the emotional aspects of 2020 made me realize how fortunate I am to be surrounded by those who care- my friends and family. I'm grateful to have a partner who is so supportive in my career and our passion. Of course, I need to give a shout out to our dogs- Lola and Tigger, who enjoyed licking all my tears off my face.
Through all the hardship we felt emotionally, we channeled our energy to starting this - BARK4COMPASSION. This is an idea that we had for years, and it is interesting the pandemic became the catalyst of this new journey we embarked on in 2020. We are proud of the #freedomflights we were able to participate in while juggling our full time jobs. We are happy to add a little joy into the families who welcomed a new family member. We are glad the medical community has worked tirelessly on vaccine development so there is a glimpse of hope. We are grateful to have the opportunity to give back.
On a personal level, 2020 was, like for most of us (one-percenters excluded), devastating. We had to permanently close two of our businesses and had to "hibernate" several others. Not having received any sort of remuneration for the past nine months has been, mostly, humbling. But, in a weird way, it has also been a bit freeing and stimulating and eye-opening. When you run out of life-long savings you learn how important family and friends are and how wrong it is to ever take them for granted. And I am not only talking about financial help but, above all, love and moral support. Like your retired mom asking if you need her to liquidate her 401K. Or your cousins who, while looking for a house, ask you if you need their down-payment savings to get you through this. Or friends who, out of nowhere, ask if they can help flying a death-row dog to a rescue. Or, friends who will, no-questions asked, offer to foster when needed. 2020 kinda showed me who people are. And, weirdly, it turns out that those who did not have "much" before the pandemic, gave more. And those who had a lot to begin with, gave less and made more. Go figure...
2020 has also made me give back more than ever before. Seeing how others struggle more than ever inspired me to do more. To fly more animals to safety. To TRY to help more. To say "hi" to more friends. To connect more people. To connect WITH more people...
There is so much more to 2020. Good and bad. But, for me, one last great thing about this (forever) infamous year is that it allowed Debbie and I to start BARK4COMPASSION. To be one of the many voices with a megaphone for the voiceless. I know it is a tinny megaphone at the moment, but it will get louder. And sure, being able to speak about my "agenda" on The Kelly Clarkson Show or on Voice of America or Newsweek or Today.com etc is great. But those are just props. Platforms. Ultimately, it comes down to friends and family. It always does. If we get your support, we'll go far. We'll help more souls. We'll save more lives. And, at the end of it all, this is what we'll be remembered for. Now, if we can just get Josh Groban to compose a theme song ...
DL & ES