It's extremely difficult to sum up 2020 in any simple or limited words. Thus, I will take it from the top and go down the entire year.
January 2020 and February 2020 were honestly a bit of a blur. Besides a special little boy passing away, there wasn't a whole lot that I recall about them.
March 2020 is when things started getting a little funny. Yes, funny. It almost seemed like some kind of joke that there was a pandemic, but nonetheless, I took it very seriously. My family and I hunkered down and literally did not leave our property except for work (both essential workers). Well visits and dental checkups were put off for months and months. Curbside pickup or home delivery for everything imaginable. With two high risk individuals in our homes, we didn't want to take any more risks than necessary.
E-learning started in March 2020 as well. It was a bit of a mess initially as everyone was supposed to go back to school after spring break. Nothing was planned and no one was prepared. However, regardless, I believe our district handled things pretty well.
By April, I was sure things would be back to normal and everyone would move on with life as before. Needless to say, we are now in January 2021 and life has not been back to normal. Or rather, a new normal has developed for many families.
Gardening and Simple Life Pleasures
When the quarantine and lockdown started, my family and I decided to make the best of the situation and get as creative as possible. First, we decided to start a garden and teach the kids all about planting. The kids were ecstatic to learn about different seeds and plants. It was a learning process for me as well. We all did a lot of research to help our plants make it through and succeed in producing some veggies.
Further, we painted rocks, leaves, pinecones, and we made birdhouses.
We watched the beautiful sunset and the spring flowers blooming.
Simple things suddenly had more meaning. Time spent with my family wasn't rushed or given half of my attention.
Ramadan came in April and I was certain we would spend it in the Masjid enjoying Taraweeh prayer and iftar with people I have gotten used to seeing every year. That didn't happen. The Masajid closed for months and no one was allowed to pray Taraweeh there.
My family and I decided we need to do something to help people enjoy Ramadan and keep their eman up.
My blue side table became our contactless pick-up and drop off location for the rest of Ramadan. We bought a ton of aluminum foil pans and to-go boxes. We would then fill them with food and place them on the blue table for people to pick up before iftar. Alhamduillah, when we do something, we never ever expect anything in return, but I know that people always like to show their appreciation one way or another. Nothing prepared me for this Ramadan thought.
We probably did not spend more than a couple of days without someone leaving something on the blue side table. My kids did not go a single day without eating some type of fancy dessert. Subhan Allah, it wasn't even always from the people we were giving food to, it was just people who were thinking about us. One person isn't even in Saint Louis and he had someone hand-deliver a box of delicious cookies to my kids. Another person made homemade treats for my kids nearly every week of Ramadan. We had brownies, cupcakes, and homemade rice Krispies. It was just all so overwhelmingly amazing, mashaAllah. All the pics above are a fraction of what we received. I have never had that many flowers given to me in one month.
In Ramadan, my family and I created our own little musalah. We made our basement our Taraweeh area with mic, speakers, and sujadat (prayer rug). My husband and son took turns calling the athan during Ramadan and the kids joined us as much as they could each night for our one juz salah.
On the last ten days of Ramadan, mashaAllah we made history.
Eid Al Fitr
After Ramadan, came the most beautiful Eid. So many unexpected gifts and sweets landed on that blue side table.
The Summer: Cooking, Gardening, and Weddings
After the excitement of Ramadan and Eid came the summer of 2020. Subhan Allah, such an amazing summer filled with a great deal of creativity.
We learned how to make so many new meals together. As my son said, "Momma, you're becoming a great chef, but you'll forget how to drive soon!" He was right, we weren't driving anywhere anymore!
Our beautiful garden flourished:
We witnessed a live wedding in our backyard as our neighbors got creative with their celebration plans. Of course, we received some delicious wedding cake!
We followed the progress of a beautiful robin's nest until all the baby's learned to fly. One didn't make it :(
My two oldest nieces graduated high school, one virtually:
Being outdoors all the time allowed us to meet new animal friends as well:
So, subahn Allah, 2020 wasn't bad, negative, or a nightmare. Alhamduilllah, not for our family. We got closer, learned to lean on each other, made the best of the situation, and tackled every challenge that was thrust our way with confidence, emaan, and tawakul.
Don't get me wrong, we had bad days where things were obviously not as planned and routines weren't followed much. We might have even screamed and cried a little more than we typically do. However, all this made us stronger as individuals, as a family, and increased our eman in Allah subhanah wa talla. Alhamduillah.
I do understand though that for some families, 2020, undeniably came with a lot of challenges that were beyond fixing. People lost jobs they’ve been at for years, while others were unable to hold their loved one’s hands as they passed away. I am sorry if your year had sorrow and nothing good to look back on.
What was 2020 like for you and your family?