In 2011, I made the move to the People’s Republic of China for work. I hadn’t had a lot of success finding a job teaching, I had given up on my dream of writing books, and I was in a ton of student loan debt and scraping out a life in my parent’s basement.
When I got the job offer in Tianjin, China, I did not have enough money to buy the airfare to get me there. Then my grandmother gave me a check for $1000 to help me make it once I was there. It quite literally fed and sheltered me for the first month plus I was in my new home, while I waited for that first paycheck and reimbursement.
In the two years I was there, my now wife, Molly, would come to see me over the holidays. We got engaged the second time she came over. I came back to Maine to start my teaching career in private school with Molly. I’ve written two books. We’ve got a son now.
My grandmother quite literally saved me by getting me to China and helping me eke out that first month. A few days ago we found out she had contracted COVID-19. She is doing alright so far, and the assisted living center she is in did, and is continuing to do, an excellent job caring for her. But this is, quite frankly, just bullshit.
She’s nearly 94 and survived World War II, where my grandfather was a ball-turret gunner on B-17s. She had four kids, and has eight grandchildren, and now three great grandchildren. The woman always, always did whatever she had to do for her family. The reason I say this is bullshit is because we can’t go and do anything for her.
Hopefully she will continue to trend in the right direction and we’ll get up to see her soon. In the meantime, whether you’re at risk or not, whether you worry about the virus or not, just wear your damned mask and socially distance as much as you can. I don’t want anyone else worrying about their family members as we enter 2021.
The book has made a lot of progress and I think I’ll be sending it for copy-editing in a few days, to be followed by formatting and prep for publication. I’ll keep everyone upated.
Please stay safe and happy new year.