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In the Holding Pattern
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Make Him Known

By Helena Smrcek

Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines holding pattern as
1: the usually oval course flown (as over an airport) by aircraft awaiting clearance especially to land
2: a state of waiting or suspended activity or progress

I estimate that most of us would vote for the first definition of this phrase, preferably in Mexican skies, anticipating a long-awaited vacation. In reality, the past eighteen months were defined by suspended activity and progress.

Weddings, funerals, graduations, birthdays, Christmas, Easter, Thanksgiving...the list goes on. Add the shortages of PPE’s, goods, building materials, collective hoarding of toilet paper and sanitizer—one wonders how we made it through. Yet, the shelves are full once again, the lumber prices seemed to be on their way down from the all-time-record high, and the crazy real estate market is experiencing a little cooldown.

The saying goes: If you don’t pass the test, you get to take it again.

So, what have we learned? For one, time took on a new meaning. Perhaps the hectic pace of our North American life isn’t as necessary as we thought. Working from home works for thousands. An ill employee taking a day off is a good thing. Eating out is fun, but not a necessity. Most of us have enough clothes and shoes to last us a year. There is so much stuff in our basements, sheds and garages that online marketplace becomes a valuable resource tool for the entire community. But most importantly we realized the true value of relationships.

The effort to stay connected in our Internet era took on an entirely new meaning. For many the use of social media shifted from highlight reels, to personal messaging platforms, offering video calls and daily chats, providing much needed support to the ones close to us. Mental health came to the forefront. Communities banned together. Kindness and love prevailed.

What message do we leave to our grandkids who will learn about COVID-19 in their history class? My hope is that they will see that rational reasoning triumphed, despite the rise of fear and distrust. The record will show that this pandemic was stifled thanks to understanding and science. We can celebrate the ingenuity, perseverance and determination of our scientists who presented us with life-saving solutions. We may never know their names, but the men and women who spent countless hours experimenting, testing, re-testing, and improving our current vaccines deserve our recognition and thanks.

Yes, many will not agree, criticize and complain, yet I do not see another viable solution to the crises at hand. As I wait for my second dose, I thank God for the wisdom imparted in those who presented the world with the means to re-start our lives.

We are all tired of waiting, holding off on our plans, education, jobs, holidays, and family events. Some take the issue with our governments, complaining of too much, or not enough action taken, yet our elected leaders, regardless of their political affiliation worked hard to get us through it.

We are in it together is slowly becoming a cliché, at least in my ears. I, for one, am ready to say: We got out of it, together. It may not ring one hundred per cent true, as we have all seen the critics on the news, but such is human nature. Unsolicited advice is readily available. The sad part is, those so freely dispensing it, rarely offer viable solutions.

As I return to my gardens, and new batch of chicks becomes my focus, I keep thanking God for keeping most of us safe. Our family had to face our own loss, and deal with the grief of premature death, due to this vicious virus, but we see the light at the end of the tunnel.

Not out of the woods yet, we carefully plan a bon fire, hoping to invite more than two people. I even dare to say the word vacation again, and hope to attend some dearly missed writers’ events.

So, as the numbers drop and the hospital beds become available, allow me to say: Thank you. I feel a sense of profound gratitude toward all medical professionals who kept us afloat, offering care to those who suffered the most. I appreciate all the first responders, the police, the members of the military who stepped in when we needed them the most. My admiration goes to all the volunteers helping to run the vaccination clinics, ensuring a smooth process for those who resolved to be part of the solution, despite the voices of opposition, citing fake facts and mongering fear. To those I say, given the choice, thousands would take the vaccine in exchange for one more birthday or family Christmas.

My heart goes out to all who lost loved ones. We share your grief. Yet, I can’t help to look up, and see a brighter tomorrow, for God has not given us the spirit of fear, but of power, love and of a sound mind.

About the author...
Helena Smrcek, a journalist, author, and screenplay writer, believes in the power of a well-told story. Her readers can expect a captivating page-turner, filled with thrilling suspense, and heartwarming romance.

She started in publishing as a high school student, freelancing for her local newspaper. Her journalism carrier took off in 1999. Within three years Helena accumulated over 100 by-lines and interviewed Ann Graham Lotz, Carol Lewis, Cec Murphey, Kelita and others. Her stories, many of them covers, have been published in Canada, USA, Bermuda, New Zealand, and Australia. In 2002 she accepted a position at Listen Up TV, a current affairs program.

Helena became a founding member of Write!Canada, and The Word Guild, a Canadian national association of writers and editors. She is a graduate of Jerry Jenkin’s Craftsman Class, Act One, Donald Maass’ Fire in Fiction, Writer’s Police Academy, and several mentoring programs.

She regularly attends writers’ conferences and is a past or current member of such organizations as Word Weavers, American Christian Fiction Writers, Sisters in Crime, Toast Masters International, Boni, The Writer’s Guild, and others. Helena loves to participate in NaNoWriMo and hosts a writers’ group.

As an entrepreneur, she is familiar with marketing, branding, and social media. She has volunteered with YMCA, mentoring new Canadians pursuing their business dreams, and was an active member of her local Chamber of Commerce.

When not at her keyboard, Helena loves listening to audio books. Working on her hobby farm, and traveling. She lives in the Waterloo Region, Ontario, with her husband, two adult children, two dogs, several cats, and her favorite goat, Rosie.