Tabatha Deans

Bringing Integrity to the Written Word

Breaking point..

I’ve been social distancing for about three weeks now, after Jessica expressed concerns for Robert and I, who are both diabetic. She and I agreed, sadly, that there would be no Grammy sleepovers or family dinners for a while. I work from home and aside from dinners out with Robert or the occasional concert or event, staying home by myself is pretty much my daily routine anyway.

Like most people, I’ve been battling the fear, anxiety and some depression that has come with the whole Coronavirus pandemic. I’ve woken up in the middle of the night many times, feeling a deep sense of dread and certainty that I, or one of my loved ones, will certainly die. I wake up every morning and search my mind for some happy thoughts, something that will make the day less dreadful and scary. I think of Jessica laughing at some silly joke she made, Petra doing headstands while we were watching a movie, then falling over on Robert and I, planting her feet in our faces, or funny things Robert has said and done.

I must say I’ve done a really good job of staying positive.

Until I went to the grocery store yesterday. On the way there I heard on the news that Denver was invoking a stay-at-home order–meaning you could now be stopped and have to produce papers stating that you had a valid reason to be out. (In fairness, I think that mostly applies to people who are gathering in groups.) But chills went down my spine. We were officially entering time in history that we had only read about in history books. The roads, which had previously been pretty empty of cars, were suddenly busy as I drove through the neighborhood, and I realized as I followed long lines of cars that they were all headed for the same grocery store I was. In that instant, I felt a shift from the novelty of choosing to stay at home, to an official order to do so.

The good news is, when I got to the grocery store there was toilet paper on the shelves. The bad news is, that was my breaking point, and as I picked up a small package of four rolls, I burst into tears. Luckily everyone was six feet away so they didn’t see my ugly crying, and I had my lysol wipe to swipe my tears away.

I don’t know why that particular moment broke me. It was only toilet paper. Perhaps it was because I was surrounded by people who had all been feeling the same way I had, or more likely it was because I had just been denying the potential severity of what’s been going on around me. Either way, I cried all the way home, and woke up this morning with positive thoughts again. You might say I have surrendered to that elusive, sometimes controversial thing called Faith. I have been doing everything possible to stay safe and keep my family safe, and worrying about the outcome constantly isn’t doing me any good. The old saying “You could be hit by a bus tomorrow” came to mind, and the reality is there are so many things that could kill any one of us that we can’t control.

I feel much better today, and I’ll continue to engage in safe practices. But instead of reading the headlines as soon as I woke up, I scrolled back through the pictures on my phone and smiled at all the great times I have with my loved ones. Then I watched funniest home videos (thank you to whoever posts them on my FB thread). Now I am talking to people in Elbert County (which I cover for CCM) about how they’re dealing with the pandemic, and how they are all coming together to help each other.

My soul and mind are refreshed, and although I’m sure I’ll likely have many more breakdowns before this is over, today I’m happy.

March 24, 2020 - Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , ,


  1. Thank you for this..I did the same thing today, I was feeling insecure about what has been happening around me this last week. I found some time on my own and all the sudden I had tears in my eyes while picking up toilet paper. This happened while a security guard and police officer (both with arms folded) were looking on to be sure no one took more than one package. I also had a couple storage boxes in my cart mind you just for drying out very wet soil for my plant babies im transplanting..but as I walked down the isles towards the check out a lady passing by caught eye of the storage boxes and then the toilet paper and I know what she was thinking..She suddenly had a very changed face as she stared at my cart and looked at me..the peace if any that I might have needed for finding what now is as dear as gold, left..her as face as most her body followed me as we passed each other many arms lengths away….I felt peddy some how. Fighting back a few tears and some shamefulness (that I didn’t need to feel), I checked out, as we needed it, I hadn’t hoarded it, or nare did I run anyone down for it..I was just there at the right time.. Heidi Williams


    Comment by Heidi Williams | March 24, 2020 | Reply

    • Heidi, I’ve always loved your narrative in your writing, I’m glad to be reading it once again. I am sorry that it’s been so long since we’ve shared our written words, but I’m going to count your response as a bright spot for my day today!

      Comment by Tabatha Stewart | March 25, 2020 | Reply

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