3/23/20, “Lockdown”

 

Hi Everyone,

 

Being confined, locked down, and isolated, and in many cases, entirely alone, is an enormous new challenge for all of us experiencing it. It affects us all, in every country, in every walk of life, from every kind of background, in every kind of job. This virus respects no one, and affects us all. Being in solitary confinement is a very new experience for me, and has turned my favorite place into the biggest challenge of all. My work as a writer is solitary, but there’s a big difference between choosing to be solitary to accomplish something, than to suddenly be isolated in a lock down situation, and being deprived of the people and places and activities which we enjoy and so easily take for granted. We have to sacrifice those things now for a short time, for the safety and health of the entire world. We take both our freedom and our health for granted—until suddenly we lose them, or they are seriously at risk, as they are now.

 

I realize when I think about it, that I have never lived alone. I married at seventeen, and went from my father’s home to my husband’s. My oldest daughter was born two years later, and from then on, even once I was no longer married, I was never alone again. I always had my daughter for company. And when I married again, and eventually over time during an 18 year marriage, became the mother of nine—there was never a moment of solitude—far from it!!! And with a house full of kids, ranging from teenagers to infants,  there wasn’t a chance that I would live alone for a long, long time. One by one, they grew up and many left, to college, jobs, and other cities. And I’m lucky enough to still have my youngest daughter living at home. So pretty much since I was seventeen, I’ve never lived alone, and by some weird quirk of fate, I wound up a continent away from all my children during this pandemic, and now under lock down, I find myself alone. The hardest part of the confinement is—-of course, worrying about my children, and the threat of illness for us all—-but a huge challenge has also been facing a hard experience with no one to share it with, to talk to, to bolster and reassure me, or my being able to take care of and reassure them. The solitude makes it a thousand times harder, and the worry about my kids. And for the first time ever, I am resoundingly alone. My kids are in other cities and countries, and the country which has given me a happy second home for so many years is now the location of my greatest fear, solitude and loneliness. It gives me new compassion for people who live alone, even when we are not in a pandemic. And perhaps the lesson I needed and will learn now is how to live with that solitude with grace, and be better because of it, when this is all over. Maybe each of us will learn something during the crisis that we needed to know, and would never have learned otherwise.

 

For everyone’s sake, I hope that everyone will comply with the rules of their confinement, and follow them, I pray that people will be safe and rapidly regain their health all around the globe. And I hold out my hand and my heart now to all of you living through this hard experience alone, with no one to talk to, or make you smile or laugh, or reassure you that things will be okay. Things WILL be okay, We will survive this, and we will learn the hard lessons and the easy ones from this. This won’t last forever, and we will be free again and reunited with our loved ones, the people we cherish, our loved ones, families and friends. And until that sweet reunion, even in the silence or loneliness of the confinement, it is for the good of all, to deprive the virus of the connections and contacts it needs to make us sick. Let’s starve the virus out of existence and stand strong. And from now on, I will have even greater respect for people who live in solitary confinement in normal times. I wish you grace and peace wherever the confinement finds you, for the lock down that goes so against the grain, since as people we all need ‘connection’ with people who are like minded, whom we love, can talk to, and make us laugh.   Give us the strength, to get through this hard, frightening time, with patience, courage, wisdom, perseverance and poise. We CAN do it, and we will. May God bless you, and all of us, at this very challenging time.

 

love, Danielle

 

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6 Comments so far
  1. Antoinette Vella March 23, 2020 4:04 pm

    Dear Danielle,

    Wishing you the very best during such difficult times made bearable by technology. Here in Malta we are on partial lockdown and it is heartbreaking not to meet our family physically.

    May God embrace the world and give all the strength to all the healthcare workers for whom we are so very grateful. Stay safe. Antoinette

  2. Jane Dunning March 24, 2020 6:06 am

    Dear Danielle,
    Of course you have responded with grace!
    My children instigated a Sunday night Selfie check in with the family. It has proved to be hilarious and reassuring. I hope you are doing something similar with your kids!
    The Number Game is awesome! As usual, I project all your heroines wisdom and strength to you.
    Your reader!
    Jane

  3. Glenna Adkns March 25, 2020 8:51 pm

    I

    I read an old book of yours called “Remembrance” and I want to say I enjoyed it so much, I laughed I cried and cried some more. Yu are a great writer and your stories are wonderful!!!!

  4. Shannon Farris March 27, 2020 9:44 pm

    Hi, Danielle,

    I just finished Matters of the Heart this evening during my quarantine. My three girls are with me and I’m thankful. My husband is at our lake house safely away from us as the four of us traveled internationally over spring break and need to be quarantined away from him. I’m sorry you are away from your children. Perhaps you’re in Paris? I enjoyed your book and felt sad for Hope and her mistreatment. Thank you for your books. You’re a beautiful writer and a lucky mother to have 9 children! They are lucky as well 😊. God Bless.

  5. Barbara Clavier March 29, 2020 10:08 pm

    I’ve been reading your books since your very first one was published. Your books have gotten me thru so much but mostly just for enjoyment. I have read 3 of your books in the last 2 wks during quarantine. Thank you so very much for sharing such wonderful stories for us all to enjoy! God Bless You

  6. Carmen S.Estrada April 4, 2020 4:30 pm

    Dear Mrs. Steel, I hope and pray you are well. In this chaotic time of isolation. With so much time on our hands, making crafts,cooking home meals,bickering with family over small things. I’m not a person that cares much for reading, but your book His Bright Light is a book that I purchased some years ago when I thought my world was coming to a end. This book gave me hope, when I thought there wasn’t any. I also purchased the book for a friend that I felt was in need of hope and comfort. The book made me feel and know that I wasn’t alone and crazy. It brought me so much comfort. Thank you, for sharing so many special and private memories. No doubt that this was difficult for you and your family. Just so you know that this book saved me and gave me comfort in many ways.. It definitely is a BIG problem today, that is so HaRd…. to explain to others especially your family and loved ones how difficult it is to have such a hard emotional roller-coaster mind. I feel no one can understand how our minds really think and feel, unless you too have this illness. Very! Very! HaRd to explain. So THANK YOU! again, for sharing this special story with us. May God bless you and your family and keep you safe. We too are keeping safe distance, here in Texas.❤ May God protect us all.