Mavis Fodness

Dear Logan ...

Letter to grandson recounts missed birthdays

Dear Logan,

We’re sorry we won’t be able to share your first birthday with you this year.

Again this MeeMaw will be late with her hugs and kisses of best wishes. It appears April 11 is just not a good date for us to get together.

You don’t remember last year, but I was late meeting you in Iowa due to a blizzard here in Minnesota.

We lost electricity and Papa Bryan had to hook up a generator to warm the house and save the new chicks that we brought in from the barn. We charged our cell phones by plugging them into our vehicles.

It was good thing we charged our cell phones in our vehicles, because an early morning text woke us on April 11, 2019. Papa happily proclaimed that “Logan William” was here.

I finally met you at the Spirit Lake hospital 48 hours after your arrival into this world.

And what a world you have been born into.

This year we are missing your first birthday celebration due to a worldwide pandemic.

Even at our age, Papa and I haven’t had any experience with health situations like this. We are relying on medical experts to make recommendations and government officials to implement safeguards for residents.

But the unknown has left us feeling anxious and perhaps a little scared at what is occurring outside our front doors.

Called COVID-19 by the World Health Organization, this coronavirus was first discovered in Wuhan, China, in late December. In four months since its discovery, COVID-19 has taken the lives of more than 10,000 people in the U.S. As your April 11 birthday approached, 24 people in my state of Minnesota have died, and that number is unfortunately still climbing.

Scientists have determined COVID-19 is spread through casual contact with other people, who may not even be showing signs of a cough, fever and shortness of breath. I really don’t know a lot about this illness but my state governor issued a stay-at-home order this morning of your first birthday.

On March 16 your governor also closed schools, including your group day care. Now my governor is recommending that I make no unnecessary travel plans.

This virus is in all of our Iowa and Minnesota communities, having traveled more than 7,000 miles across the Pacific Ocean in a matter of weeks. Its effect on human health needs to be respected.

More people have recovered from COVID-19 than have died, but a few months of isolation, frequent hand washing, staying at least six feet away from others are necessary to buy time for a treatment and, more importantly, a vaccine.

 For this, I am willing to stay at home.

So sweet little one, Papa and I don’t feel we can travel the 150 miles and see you for your first birthday. It would be too hard to resist kissing those chubby cheeks. I ultimately don’t want to be the one who brings this virus to you, to your older sister, or to your mom and dad.

But we can “visit” you through FaceTime on our cell phones. Seeing the inside of your ear as you hold the phone to “talk” brings smiles to your Papa’s and MeeMaw’s faces.

As you blow out your candles today on the 365th day of life, rest assured that we will have many more birthdays together because we’re going to stay healthy by staying home.

We know your first birthday is extra special, but understand that birthdays are not the only special times we will have together.

Say a little prayer, Logan, that April 11, 2021, is a better time for us to celebrate your birthday face-to-face.

Love, MeeMaw Mavis

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