zoom family call

My Pandemic Silver Lining

While there has been plenty of hardship and struggles during the past few months, I find it interesting to hear about the many ways life has improved during the pandemic. For me, the silver lining has been a weekly Zoom call with my family. In a time where I have been increasingly disconnected from local family and friends that I used to see on a regular basis, I have been able to deepen relationships with my dispersed family.

I am one of six children with a large family spread throughout the country. Even during normal times, it is rare that I am able to see my siblings every year. As the next generation of kids have grown and started to move out on their own, it has become even harder for us all to be together during the holidays.

Our weekly Zoom call started in March at my Dad’s request. He wanted to make sure that during the pandemic he knew we were all safe and well. The agenda is simple – we each take turns from our little Zoom “squares” updating everyone on our week, jobs, health, etc. When there is a birthday, we have a little Zoom Birthday Party and most people make cakes so we can all celebrate remotely.

It took a couple of months to figure out the technology, but my grandparents (living independently in their late 80s) have been able to join the last few weeks. It has been so good for us all to see they are staying healthy through this and we have even added family history stories to the agenda. Last week, my grandmother told a story about her parents venturing from Texas to New Mexico in a wagon over 100 years ago as a young married couple. My girls have especially enjoyed hearing this family history and I am able to record the stories so they are not lost to us in the future.

It is a small thing, but it brings me a lot of comfort and joy to have that connection to my family during this difficult time. We’ve had a lot of changes in the past 5 months with a new baby niece born in California and my oldest niece moving to Honolulu with her new husband. While I would love to be able to see them in person, through technology we’ve been able to see the baby’s new tricks and tour the newlyweds’ apartment. It is not the same as before, but in a way it is better with us making the time to connect.

I encourage you to think outside the box and find ways to connect with others during this quarantine. Luckily, technology allows us to overcome the limitations of the quarantine and deepen relationships despite our physical distances.

As always, we are here for you. Please email or call if you want to set up a Zoom videoconference meeting or talk by phone.

Mary McCraw, CFP®

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