Reconciliation During Confinement

Schadrac Junior Ondongo Bongo

Copyright 2020 by 
Schadrac Junior Ondongo Bongo

Photo by Pablo Heimplatz on Unsplash
                          Photo by Pablo Heimplatz on Unsplash 

Life is a gift that must be grasped because it is precious and short.

It was in March 2020 that the epidemic (Covid-19) was declared to the city of Turin. Everyone was afraid when the first case was announced, because we have all seen the ravages of this virus in China. And the government had declared a state of health emergency.

Being a nursing assistant in a retirement home and mother of a 5 month old child, I had a very big decision to make between confining myself at home and confining myself in my workplace.

Being understaffed, so I decided to confine myself to my workplace. In the early days of our confinement, everything was fine, and we were doing our job as usual. But over time, frustration, fatigue... began to win us over since life had become monotonous. And through smartphones we were able to have contact with the outside world.

The days were getting longer and longer so that sometimes we forgot the notion of time. Those who I used to take care of in the course of my work, at the time of confinement I had our eyes on them. They had become my new family. Among the residents of the retirement home was a certain John.

John was a widower and had a great deal of experience in marriage. Hence, I often came to see him for advice from him since I was newly married.

One day while I was taking care of him, John said to me: Lilian, how is your husband? I replied: He is well. He added: Are you sure? I replied: I spoke with him this morning, and he told me that everything was fine.

John says to me: There are certain things buried inside of us that we cannot express through a virtual conversation. But only when the person is in front of us.

Not being on the same wavelength as John, I did not understand what he was trying to tell me or the message he was trying to get me across. And I say clearly to John: What are you trying to make me understand?

John answered me: It is very good that you do for us, and we are very grateful to you. I replied: It is my job and it is completely normal since I am paid for it.

John said to me: Have you also thought about your other work?

I said to him: Which one?

John answered me: The one whose wife and mother you are.

When John said that, I started to smile because I thought it was funny to compare professional work and my family life. Because for me, my family life was nothing like a job.

And I answered John: All is well in my home. This answer that I had given to John was just to cover my face because in truth, my decision to confine myself to my workplace had not pleased my husband.

Having finished my conversation with John, I called my husband again.

I said darling, how are you?

He answered me: I am well and you?

I replied: I am well. And I said to him: How is it going with the baby at home?

He replied: It is fine!

Deep down, I knew it was not right, and he said to him: Honey, I know it is wrong and my decision had hurt you a lot, but every time I call you, you give me the impression that everything is fine. Why are you doing this?

My husband replied: What do you want me to say? You left against my will, by leaving us alone when we needed you the most. Michael and I have learned to do without you, and we live as best we can.

To calm him down a bit, I said to him: I miss you very much, and I regret the decision I had made. You're right, it is in difficult times that we recognize these true friends. I am sorry! Can you forgive me?

He replied: Michael is crying! And it's time that I give him his bottle. Then he cut the call short.

Dejected, I went to John again. And John said to me: What is happening to you? I replied: My husband has a tooth against me, and I don't know what to do to go up the slope.

John answered: Do you know where this problem came from?

I replied: Yes, I confined myself here rather than at home, and it did not please him.

John answered: Can I ask you a somewhat relevant question?

I replied: Yes, you can!

John said to me: If it was your husband who had confined himself outside the house and without your approval, what would be your reaction?

I laughed, when John asked me that question. Because knowing my nature, if my husband did what I had done, surely he would experience hell upon his return. Hence, I replied to John: I had done something really wrong. Because he and I are one flesh. And each decision that I will make, I must consult it beforehand to have its approval.

Then I picked up my phone to call my husband. When he picked up, I started to cry. He tells me what is it darling?

I replied: I have hurt the people who matter most in my life, and I let them down when they needed me the most. I am a bad person.

And my husband said to me: No darling, you are the most beautiful Woman in the world, you are a wonderful wife, and I bless heaven every day for having put you on my way. You have a very good heart; you are compassionate, and you are a great mother.

I married you because I knew how to detect all these good characters in you. But sometimes it happens that we do bad things. But when you recognize your faults and leave them behind, you get mercy. Because tomorrow maybe it will be me who will need and need your forgiveness.

And a week after this reconciliation, the government decided to deconfinement. And I went back to mine. 

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