Letters From Lockdown 32: Stevette Potts

Dear Dad,

I write to you in April 2020, at a time when we are all on lock down.  Yep you heard me right, on lock down.  There is a pandemic plaguing the whole world and we are all confined to our homes while our amazing NHS work round the clock to save lives.  Our other emergency services both enforce the lockdown and support the NHS.  Frontline workers keep food on the shelves, our bins emptied and govern and guide us through this terrifying situation.  We have to line up to get into the grocery store to buy food – something I did not think I would see in my lifetime!

I miss you but am glad you are not at risk of this hideous virus.  I know how much you admired and respected the NHS and how hard they worked for you.  They are doing the same now for so many sick people and also being there for those losing their lives without family by their sides.  I know you are clapping every Thursday night in heaven with us to say ‘thank you’ for the amazing job they are doing.

While it is a very strange and scary time indeed, there are some positives.  You always taught me to look for the positives in any situation. The biggest one feels like the greatest gift we could have been given.  

As you know the day you passed Imy was awarded her place at University – long story but rather than Exeter she chose a better course in Southampton.  She moved away from home and started on a two year roller coaster of self discovery.  While of course she came home for holidays and the odd weekend, it never felt like she was 100% present, part of her was longing to be back on the train or in her car back to her new life.  While this was of course perfectly normal and natural, this was a hard transition for Rich and I.  We knew she needed to find herself and that we needed to be here for her when she needed us.  Boy did she need us… through several ‘interventions’ and ultimately when on a night out she had a terrible accident, of course we were there to pick up the pieces and support her in the aftermath and the changes she instigated to live a more positive life.

Her new positive life took a lot of hard work and determination for her to make work and I think there were times it would have been easier for her to just go back to how things had been. But she persevered – she made new friends, joined numerous societies and had many huge ‘wins’. From musical theatre to performing at Fringe – writing for the Uni online paper to her own online platform for female creatives. So many successes but I digress!

Due to the lockdown, University is clearly closed.  Imy came home for an undisclosed period.  She was quite stressed at the beginning, missing friends and unused to a lack of her normal structure and to our day to day lives.  Due to the lock down both Rich and I are at home, working when we can but we are all in it together and quickly fell into a new family routine.

Why do we feel this time is a gift? – let’s face it in a short time Imy will be moving out of home for good.  She has her own life to live. Of course she will ALWAYS have a home here if she needs it. This has been a great opportunity for us all to get to know each other again and differently.  As three adults co-existing we interact differently than we did when she was a child or even an adult student. We have been together for four weeks now – the only time we can leave home is to get food shopping or take exercise. We have spent our time doing some work, both Rich and I keeping our businesses going and Imy doing essays and her dissertation. We have had a LOT of free time too.  We have walked in the lovely Surrey Hills together, played badminton, ping pong, scrabble, had movie nights, pub nights (our fave pub is doing deliveries!), cooked together or for each other and we even had a few days labouring in the garden together. It has been amazing for us as a family to have this time.

Hopefully we will all continue to stay well and not get this virus. We all look forward to a time when we can see our family and friends again. I long to give Mum a hug.  It is hard in many ways, but I know when I look back on this time in years to come, there will be sadness that so many lives have been lost. There will also be wonderful memories of this precious time we have had together!

I love you Dad, and miss you every day.

Bet xxx

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