Yesterday, I got the first dose of the Moderna vaccine. I don’t share this in a boastful way. I worked hard to get this shot, but in the end, my hard work had nothing to do with it.
When this week began–the last one before my tutoring job resumes full force for the semester–I had big plans. I was going to make sure to get my parents’ Covid vaccines scheduled. I hoped to get some writing done. And a couple book clubs had invited me to zoom in with them as they discuss One Degree of Freedom. One was a book club for middle graders and the other, a book club for teens and their moms.
Before Covid, “zoom” to me meant the sound effect kids make when they play with toy cars. I had never zoomed online. Now I am a pro at zooming. I zoom every day.
I zoom for work, helping college students write their papers. I zoom committee meetings, prayer meetings, gatherings with friends. Next week, I’ll zoom in on a public library’s YA Lit Lounge and do a podcast called Hope Unyielding.
But this week, both book clubs asked me to zoom in on Thursday, just a couple hours apart. I was excited but also nervous. And immensely disappointed when both of them had to cancel due to Covid.
So I decided to focus on the vaccine.
There is only one way that anyone in my county can get a vaccination. They must call one number and they must call it from Monday until Wednesday, 8:00 am until 4:30 pm. On Monday, I started at 8:00 sharp and called it 47 times. On Tuesday, I found out the number had been changed, and I called the new number 51 times.
Then I started to panic. I decided to get really serious. I redialed the number 109 times on Wednesday. I pushed redial until the message said the vaccine allocation for the week was full–three hours early. Again, disappointment.
As I prayed Thursday morning, I asked God to help me let go of trying to control things. I told him I want to trust him to orchestrate my days and my weeks.
So, when I got a call from the Health Department on Thursday, I was shocked. Could this be an answer to prayer? They called to offer my parents an appointment for that day. Someone had to drive them to the appointment, so I asked if my husband could also get his vaccine. The person said yes.
Then I sucked in my breath and asked if I could get the vaccine. Now you need to know that I am several months too young to qualify. But I am a caregiver. The person said yes.
The process took a couple hours at the Health Department. Long lines, especially so with a walker. Lots of forms. And with my parents on blood thinners, we had to wait a while after their shots before we could leave.
But none of that mattered, because we got it. We got it! And we have appointments for the second dose in a month.
If the two book clubs had not cancelled, I would not have been able to go. My family would have gone, and I would have waited my turn in the last group. The group called Whoever Else Didn’t Get Vaccinated. Maybe late spring?
I’m exhausted. I’m grateful. And I realize that once again, the thing that seemed so disappointing to me in the moment worked out to be a good thing for me. The best thing, in fact.