By: Ellen Lenox Smith

As my husband and I get closer to receiving our second of our two-dose COVID-19 vaccination, we are beginning to accept that we might just have been the lucky ones to return to living a “new” normal. Over 500,000 have lost their lives, but I can’t help but feel grateful along with a little survival guilt. Why were we able to keep safe and not be affected when so many wonderful people lost their lives? Or maybe you were one that did get COVID-19 but were able to survive it.

As we near the finish line and begin to step back into lives you have to look back and wonder how we could honor those that lost the battle. I want to hold all those dear souls, that I never even knew, in ways that honor them.

Here is how I plan to honor those that lost life due to the pandemic:

  •  Take even more time to care about others.
  •  Reach out a hand to offer help and an ear to listen.
  •  Live life with an extra mission filled with purpose, hope and compassion.
  • I don’t want to waste too much time feeling sad, hurt, or confused.
  • I want to live with meaning.
  • Celebrate each day I awake to another day to live.
  • Be grateful for the good in my life.
  • I want to celebrate progress, no matter how slight it might be.
  • I’m going to let go of hurt, judgment, and anger around me.

I would love to hear your thoughts on this topic. We are here and we get to move forward, despite our physical challenges so let’s make this time we have been given, to make the best of the life we have.

May you all stay safe, happy, and as healthy as you can be.

May life be kind to you

About Ellen Lenox Smith:

Ellen Lenox Smith has emerged as a leading voice for patients living with pain. Featured in local and national press accounts, Ellen brings a reasoned and compassionate perspective to the need for safe patient access to effective therapies, especially medical cannabis. Currently, Ellen serves as Co-Director of Medical Cannabis Advocacy for U.S. Pain Foundation and is a member of its Board of Directors. She is also active with the EDS RI support group. Prior to patient advocacy, Ellen was a longtime middle school social studies teacher. She has been married for 46 years and is the proud mother of four adult children and grandmother to five grandchildren. She also is the author of two books, an organic gardener, and was previously a master swimmer and high school swim teacher.