Lesson Learned: Erika thoughtfully reflected that it had been 12 years since her mother passed away and only 9 months since her father’s death, as she recounted a wonderfully touching connection with her parents in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Fifteen years ago, when Erika first moved to Manhattan, her parents packed up a survival kit for her – just in case. I think it’s safe to say that most parents would have purchased non-perishable foods, perhaps some over-the-counter medications, new sheets and towels and perhaps even a bottle of wine to make the new apartment feel more like home. Veronica and John Nanartowicz, however, had other plans. Instead, they sent Erika to the Big Apple with 3 dozen N95 face masks and 7 boxes of plastic gloves. In 2005!
Why, Erika inquired, were these seemingly pointless items so necessary? “There could be another outbreak of Avian Flu”, was the response. “You may need these someone day. It’s best that you are prepared”, was the sage advice her parents offered.
Erika not only accepted the protective supplies, she moved them, still in their original packing boxes, multiple times from apartment to apartment, wondering why she bothered to still keep the contents. Until last week, when the Covid-19 crisis hit New York City with a vengeance and caused anxious New Yorkers to purchase every last mask and plastic gloves they could find. Erika didn’t panic; she calmly located the survival boxes that had been given to her by her concerned parents 15 years ago and began wearing the masks and gloves when she absolutely needed to leave her apartment. It was a very emotional reminder that her deceased parents were still looking out for her and that they had, absolutely known, what was best for her. This is truly a rare occasion when NOT downsizing seemingly extraneous stuff saved the day.
Feel the love, Erika, every time you now wander through the streets of Manhattan these days. I bet your parents are beaming and saying to themselves, “We told you so!”