In search of lost time
Tuesday, May 24, 2022
Luciana describes life after COVID-19, travelling to visit her family in Brazil and the importance of making memories with our loved ones.
This spring marks two years since the start of the COVID-19 outbreak. It has become difficult to remember our attitudes to life, the world and society before everything changed completely. There have been times where many of us just could not see the light at the end of the tunnel. However, this spring, I am surrounded by blossoming flowers, singing birds and new-born animals, and I cannot help but feel more alive.
In April, with the sun finally shining and warm, I was reminded that I had gone almost three years without seeing my family in Brazil. With my condition and medicines, I have taken a lot of care to not get infected, and I have been especially concerned about travelling in a packed aeroplane. However, my relatives are all getting older, and I decided that I could not risk leaving it any longer to see them. So, after all of this time in semi-isolation, I decided to brave the travel chaos and take a trip to Brazil.
Arriving back in Brazil after such a long time was like waking up from a deep sleep, similar to when I would wake up from the many times I had to go under the anaesthetic for an operation. This trip was particularly special and emotional for me. I was anxious to see my family, especially my beloved uncle, who is 92. He lives with Parkinson’s disease, and he has moments of memory disorder, where his dreams and imagination become mixed up with his understanding of reality. Since February, he has had to move into a care home, where he can be looked after 24 hours a day.
Despite the distance, our relationship has always been very close. I am his only niece, and I would like to think that I was, and continue to be, special to him. Back when I was living in Brazil, whenever I was in the hospital, he would visit me as often as possible, even if it was for a quick hello. I am like a daughter to him, and my children call him granddad.
Seeing my family again after such a long time was intensely emotional. However, it felt that the pandemic had accelerated their ageing process. I found my mum using a walking stick, as she had lost part of her mobility. I was saddened by this sense of lost time, but it has made me appreciate relationships even more. In the end, memories are all that we have, and we must always remember to keep making them, every day, at every chance, with all those that we love.