Yes, yes, yes when I think of the word “together” I certainly think of Mr Webster’s definition.
1. With or in proximity to another person or people.
This is what I am aching for lately. I really love being around people. I love being around my family, my dogs, my students, my parents. There is nothing like a room full of teenagers plugging away on really hard music, light bulbs going off constantly, you know really digging in.
When we are “together” in that way you can just feel the energy. It is addicting and I, for one, am in total withdrawal.
Our world, pre-pandemic, was harrowing at times. We ate on the go, worked too many hours, stressed over big stuff (and small stuff) and hardly saw our families. We dropped kids off at daycare, preschool, high school, and college. Every parent missing them when they were not together. We often said “one day I’ll slow down and spend more time with my family”.
Well, my friend that day has come.
I love seeing my friends and family posting on social media that they are really enjoying Mr. Websters definition of together. They are getting to have more time with their kids and family. They eat together, play games together, binge watch TV together, and probably do some staring at each other wondering what to do next. They worry with each other and console each other.
They even Tik Tok together…I see you Bertagnas, Lorenzinis, and Batemans!!
However, we forget that Mr. Webster had another definition of “together”.
2. In companionship or close association.
I have not been able experience Mr. Webster’s first definition at all lately. I have been isolated and physically alone most of my days.
But this second definition has been abundant. I have had countless text messages and emails:
“I just love you – you got this sister!!”
“Sending you lots of luck and love today”
“Thinking of you and love you, happy each day you remain in good health!”
“How can we help you?”
“Words cannot describe how grateful I am to be a part of an amazing choir department with an amazing director”
“No words express how grateful we are for all your love and kindness for our kids”
I have never felt more companionship with people.
Each day this week I have opened up a Zoom hangout and have been able to share smiles and laughter with my students. I have watched these young people embody Mr. Webster’s second definition and really connect with each other. Their companionship, even across many miles, gives me hope and the strength to get through these tough times.
Don’t get me wrong. I cannot wait to start practicing Mr. Webster’s first definition.
But as I was watching my top group butchering a virtual Happy Birthday to our beloved Matt smiling and laughing the entire time I realized that as the poet T. Bolton pointed out, we truly are “All in This Together”
Love y’all more than family Tik Toks!!