“It’s not the same.”

The Passover Seder. The Easter egg hunt. The annual spring garden tour. Missing is the uncle sitting beside us at the table, the pairs of little legs racing for the same egg hidden in the dewy grass, sharing the sweet smell of spring’s first hyacinth bloom.

Virtual can be beautiful. And it’s not the same.

My heart is sore from the small stabs of sorrows from the phrase I utter at every turn.  Meeting with teammates: Not the same. Graduation celebration: Not the same. Fundraisers for my favorite causes: Not the same.

Despite gratitude that I could watch my nephew’s wedding —held in a neighboring state—on a screen, I longed to see the lace of the bride’s dress up close and to scoop up the flower girl in a hug.

Even as I recognize that it could be “Not at all” rather than “Not the same,” comparison with the past is my brain’s persistent companion.

Dozens of my “not the same” thoughts drain my enthusiasm as each day wears on. By late afternoon,   I’ve worn myself out with my own words in my head.  I’ve emptied all the energy I have at a time I’ve none to spare.

Having long proclaimed that “More than one thing can be true,” I cautiously commit to remembering not only what is not the same, but also what is. To tell the truth about what is right in front of me and real, not virtual.

My lungs have not been attacked by Covid-19.  The air sacs and tiny blood vessels still miraculously pump … My breathing is the same. I take a breath.

My friends and family are all still in my life. My elderly aunts in care facilities. Jan and Janet both undergoing chemo. My children who have been living in hot spots. Our love is the same. I take it in.

Covid-19 has not taken away a single one of the five red bud trees in my life. Their eagerness as they are on the brink of their beautiful spring bloom is the same. I look forward.

This Easter will not be the same. But I will dye eggs and put out pastel napkins and seriously consider baking a bunny cake. I will see my children’s faces on my laptop and they will make me laugh. I will remember those who gave me happy holiday memories and left this earth long ago.

For all that is not the same, I hope to remember and to love what is.

Coach Koenig

Are your thoughts taking your energy?

What is real in your life that you might appreciate?

What remains the same that you could focus on?