Staying at Home on Easter Sunday

Posted by Amber Collie in Life After Paralysis on April 11, 2020 # COVID-19

What day is it today? I think it’s the third or fourth week of the “Stay at Home” policy, because of the coronavirus. This has been a sudden shift in life, and not just our country but around the entire world. There is fear of the virus itself, fear of the unknown, fear of change, stress, anxiety and feeling overwhelmed. With many different scenarios going on, families with children suddenly turn into home schooling parents who never wanted to be, while simultaneously trying to work from home. Boss wants a conference call, only to get interrupted by your young child running in the room saying, “I’m hungry.” Online video chats like Zoom have very quickly become the new way to communicate. Adults are glued to the TV listening to the latest news statistics on Covid-19. Today your hoping to get an actual online grocery delivery date. While you put on the latest fashion statement masks & gloves, reminding yourself to stay 6 feet apart from any other human being you may encounter. It is amazing though how quickly we adapt. Now whether it be your kids are fighting over the laptop or sleeping in until noon, or you’re a business owner wondering if you’ll be able to re-open your doors ever again, maybe you were able to collect unemployment and are relieved. Whatever your story is of how you are dealing with this historical event Spring of 2020, you are not alone and good is still happening alongside the upturned events. You may not be able to physically hug your loved ones, but it’s a great time to let them know in words what they mean to you. This temporary way of life is a great time to reflect on what is truly important. It is in challenging, unknown times like these, that you have the rare opportunity to see things in a whole different perspective.Zack Collie

When my 15-year-old son, Zack broke his neck at the beach one Memorial Day becoming a quadriplegic, changing our lives path instantly. It was more than devastating. I experienced the emotions of grief sometimes all in one day. I watched my super active, healthy teenager forced to now live in a body that no longer could move, struggle daily. The pain as his mother was intense and heartbreaking, yet I wanted to stay strong to support him as beat as I could. After some time, my mindset became a choice. Not wanting to accept this new way of life, I forced myself to view my options. One, a life of constant pain, heartache & negativity or search for the positives and focus on the future instead of the past that I could not change. Zack showed me how to do this by accepting his fate and choosing to focus on the things he still had, not the things he lost that day in the ocean. If my paralyzed teen could do this so could I. Yes, of course easier said than done, but it can be done, and guarantee our life is much better for it. With the Easter Holiday coming up right in the middle of this global carnitine it could be seen as a negative, sad time if you chose it to be. Or decide it will be good. You may need to think outside the box reminding yourself it’s a state of mind, you can enjoy this holiday. Collie Family

Here are some ideas; Turn off the news. Write cards and send them to people who are alone; neighbors, seniors in assisted living homes, believe me that small gesture could mean the world to them. Cook or bake together, a favorite meal or try a brand-new recipe. Decorate the house, pick some flowers from yard. Sit and eat together. We have been lighting a fire in our fireplace and eating in our living room. Share what has been the hardest, favorite part of staying home, talk about what you’re looking forward to when this is over. Have a decorating eggs competition. Put on music and have a dance party (even in a wheelchair). Zack can play some video games on the Wii. Take a family selfie. Whatever your family’s tradition is for Easter come up with an adapted version. Get Creative! This will be one to remember.

My life has had many parts, I could write a book just on that section but let's fast forward to when I married Adron Collie. Two weeks after turning 20 (yes, very young!) I had Zackery at age 22, Levi at 24, six years later Kaden, and 18 months after that daughter Laila, making me a busy mother of four. At that time, I also ran a photography business. The year Zack was injured I had a child in Preschool, Elementary, Jr. High and High School. Four kids in four schools! I thought I was so busy, just getting their drop off and pick up times correct was a challenge. I have to laugh now thinking back on that because little did I know my life was just about to turn upside down.

For more resources on the coronavirus, visit the Reeve Foundation COVID-19 Information Center.

The National Paralysis Resource Center website is supported by the Administration for Community Living (ACL), U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) as part of a financial assistance award totaling $8,700,000 with 100 percent funding by ACL/HHS. The contents are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent the official views of, nor an endorsement, by ACL/HHS, or the U.S. Government.