To My Children at the End of Summer 2020:

    We’ve said it already, many times: This year will be unlike any before. I wish we could tell you that this will end — but when and how much, I can’t say. All we have is now.


    Even before you were born, I had great dreams for you and what your lives would be. I also knew that very little is certain in this life, so I tried to give you everything I could dream that you would need. When I couldn’t give it to you, I would fight for or figure out something close that would be good enough, all the while struggling with my visceral need to give you the best.


    If I had known this was coming, you know I would have had a plan. We would have missed out on the shock of floating as the freight-train world screeched to a stop, and had a structure to protect us from the heavy weight that descended.


    Now though, it’s hard to even know what the best is because my ideas were all built in a world before now. I was limited to my own conceptions. 


    There will be hard things this year, things that I can’t even imagine now, much less prepare for. There are things we will need to let go. Back in March, we only thought we were putting some of them on hold. They may come back one day. They may not. 


    I promise you this though: there will be good times too. I know it sounds crazy to say, but you were born for this — we were all born to help each other through. 


    I may need your dreams now because yours are not so much anchored in my old world as mine. In return, I will give you my hope, love, protection, attention, and all the prayer, contemplation, and ingenuity I can muster. Together we will bring our faith, strength, and love to build a new world.


    Here’s the thing about transformation though: a few hundred years ago, my ancestors stood on the shores of a new world with similar visceral and philosophical dreams, but people got hurt and valuable things were destroyed in that new world. We must see true, be honest, listen, learn, and open our minds as we step forward. And step forward we will, each day, together.



    Ali Shoemaker says (Aug 14, 2020):

    That was so beautiful! I love reading things that spark questions within myself. If I knew what was to come, would I have tried to prepare my kids for it? In doing so, would it make it easier on them or harder? Past plans and dreams being anchored in time, only to be set free by those that never had a chance to throw the anchor down. If I did have the chance to go back and prepare my kiddos, maybe I wouldnt. We would only be forcing them to anchor...perhaps? Great thoughts!


    Joseph Dixon says (Aug 14, 2020):

    A bitter sweet narrative on transformation. It not only affects you and the interaction with your children but those of us that so dearly love you, your husband and those incredible grandchildren. We are so lucky to have all of you as an integral part of our entire family. GDO.


    Pam Dixon says (Aug 14, 2020):

    Janette, you have such a wonderful way with words. I was so touched and overwhelmed all at the same time! You are one of the best mothers on earth! Love you so much! Pom Pom

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