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The Last Word: When this is over


CityView’s April issue would usually be filled with stories and images of baseball and dogwoods. That was certainly our plan for this month.

But the coronavirus changed all that. It is shaping up to be this generation’s World War II or 9/11. How we respond will tell us a lot about ourselves.

Our lives have turned upside down over the past few weeks. Confusion and stress reign as we go from day to day with toilet paper and sanitizer shortages, endless talk of test results, ventilators and fatalities. New terms like social distancing have become the new normal. The first day of spring arrived in Fayetteville with little attention as we focused instead on school closings and business disruption, mortgages and bills. All around us, businesses and families are trying to cope with the disruptions.

The question isn’t whether we will survive this pandemic, but what will we look like at the other end. Perhaps the early signs of hope are what we see growing among the confusion as we find ourselves again sharing life together at a dinner table with family members, celebrating the little things and reminiscing about better times. We look forward to telling you about some of the inspiring stories of people in our community and their response to this crisis.

Laura Kelly Fanucci, a respected author and award-winning columnist, captured this growing spirit perfectly in a recent blog.

When this is over, may we never again take for granted

A handshake with a stranger

Full shelves at the store

Conversations with neighbors

A crowded theatre

Friday night out

The taste of communion

A routine checkup

The school rush each morning

Coffee with a friend

The stadium roaring

Each deep breath

A boring Tuesday

Life itself.

When this ends,

may we find

that we have become

more like the people

we wanted to be

we were called to be

we hoped to be

and may we stay

that way – better

for each other because of the worst.

Hopefully this pandemic will bring us together as we’ve done before when faced with similar challenges. Perhaps we’ll gain a greater appreciation for the important things of life. Maybe we will set aside the petty differences that divide us and recognize that politics and race and ethnicity don’t matter in the real scheme of things. They pale in comparison to the loss of a gentle kiss of an innocent grandchild.

Let us pray that one day we can thank the coronavirus for helping us all realize that.