Tomorrow is Friday the 13th. The last Friday the 13th was March 13. The Live Oak Board and I had just sent out a letter that we would be moving to virtual services after that weekend. Even then, we thought it would be short-lived. We really couldn’t imagine the world that we are living in today.

But that inability to foresee the future can go the other way, too. Things can get better in ways and at a speed we can’t yet picture. Today, my “patience storage tank” has been refilled … a little bit. Hearing the early good news about the effectiveness of one of the vaccines in trial, and that Dr. Fauci thinks it might even be available by April boosted my spirits. So did hearing about the plans President-Elect Biden is making.

But none of these things will be immediate and I will confess, I am weary. Like many, I had that adrenaline burst of happiness with the election results, then the feelings of exhaustion as all the pent-up worries were let go.

I think we should prepare for some emotional ups and downs over the next couple of months. Holidays will be hard for many of us, as we make the decision to prioritize safety over togetherness, in light of reports that much of the rise in covid cases is coming from small, private gatherings.

What is helping me right now is learning about how people celebrated the holidays in other difficult times, and remembering my own tough years. We’ll be talking about some of that in December, because some of it is really cheering stuff! (One service in December is titled “Happy Blitzmas” because that’s literally what the Brits called Christmas of 1941.) I got my mom talking about what Christmas was like during World War II, and she had some great stories. If you have a relative or friend who remembers a holiday during a difficult period, ask them about it!

“Soon, the day will arrive when we will be together.” That day WILL come. Just a little bit longer, Friends. A little more patience.