Jesus Christ is risen – alleluia!
My reflections on getting the vaccine!
I received my vaccine sometime in 1954 or 1955; my brother Bob and I did so as soon as we could after our brother Don almost died. Brothers Tom and Dick were also sick, but not to the degree that Don was stricken. When the vaccine was introduced, many people would not receive it because they were afraid of what it would do to their bodies. It turned out that the vaccine was highly effective resulting in opinions changing quickly. By late 1956, most Americans were vaccinated. I am talking about the polio vaccine (Salk vaccine) that helped save millions of Americans.
This memory comes back to mind when I hear people saying they will not receive a COVID vaccine because they are afraid of what it will do to their body.
I have been lucky enough to have not lost any loved ones during the pandemic. Due to this, sometimes I can forget the wide variety of emotions the vaccine can have on people. I want to share this story based on a reflection from Marilyn, who shared so beautifully why it is important to receive the vaccine and to remember those who came so close, yet were not able to.
Discernment is important as you weigh getting the vaccine. It may not be your life that you save, but maybe someone's father or mother, brother or sister. Let us pray for all those souls who died due to COVID and for peace to all those who grieve.
Marilyn’s father died from complications related to COVID in late January - a Sunday morning. Exactly 69 days later, on a Saturday, she received her first dose of vaccine. She knew it would be emotional, but she didn’t expect to start crying in line. No one around her thought that was strange. The nurse who gave her the shot was incredibly kind. He took a breath - invited Marilyn to breathe. He invited her to talk him, so she told him about her dad. He eventually looked into her eyes and told her that his father had died of a heart attack not so long ago. He was too young. They sat and shared their emotions.
They sat and Marilyn shared how close her dad was to being able to get the vaccine. They smiled and he asked her how she was going to celebrate his life. She was going to get a cake and he laughed about how many people want their cards to get free donuts.
He shared that he was nervous to volunteer for the vaccine clinic, but that now he’s grateful – because of all the stories of relief he heard. It ended up being Marilyn’s gentlest injection ever received.
Marilyn will tell you that her grief only increased her desire to be a small part of arresting this virus. COVID complicated every part of her dad’s death and continues to complicate her grief. It’s not something anyone wants to pass along to anyone.
Like the polio vaccine, none of us can guarantee the vaccines. However, today I hold all those who have died in prayer as well as all the heroic efforts of those working to assist in ending this pandemic. I’ve chosen to trust the science of the vaccine.
Please keep being careful and wearing your mask, even after your second dose.
Blessings in 2021!
Let us continue to pray for peace in our world!
In peace and courage,
Sunday, April 25, 2021