Things are tough, but we feel your love.

It’s been nearly two weeks since Oneal took his dad to the hospital, and we found out that Oneal’s dad was positive for COVID-19. It’s been a hectic, stressful time since.

It was made more difficult by the fact that Oneal and I felt so alone–he was with Dad in the hospital, and I was at home with Lucas. Normally we’d check on each other, swap tasks, make sure we were eating or resting when possible. Apart, there was only so much we could do with phone calls and messages.

We struggled, but we were much comforted by friends and family who sent help. “Don’t cook today,” one said. “I’ll send you food.” Another one scheduled a food delivery for the weekend, and again two more times. One night, when I panicked over Lucas’s sudden fever, two friends who lived nearby sent medicine and snacks.

There were video calls and messages. Lucas had a lunch date with a dear ninang and a friendly pirate. Friends and relatives checked in, reminding me to rest when I could, and to try and eat. Others cheered me up with jokes and gossip.

We were so touched when a dear friend started fundraising efforts for us, and overwhelmed by the friends and family from around the world who sent money. “It’s not much, but I hope it helps,” some said. Others sent prayers along with their contributions. There were friends we hadn’t seen or spoken to in such a long time, but we were touched they remembered us and lent a helping hand. Still more touching were the complete strangers who saw online that we needed help, and sent without a moment’s hesitation. Some friends couldn’t send money, but shared the message and helped those who wanted to donate.

I think I cried happy tears over every message, every notification. Humans have such an amazing capacity for kindness and generosity.

Things seem so bleak, but our hearts are warmed by the love of our geek family, of friends and relatives, of our brothers and sisters in the 501st, and of strangers on the Internet. Things are tough, but with so many helping hands and generous hearts, we can’t help but be comforted. You folks are truly family.

Amid all the horrors of the pandemic, the despair and the misery wrought by COVID-19, there is beauty and love, compassion and humor, joy and friendship.

Thank you, world.

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