Mixed Emotions

By: Marianna Boyce

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For now, the thought weighing heavily on my mind is staying healthy. It’s not a selfish thought. We’re all working diligently to fight this invisible enemy. Other than the obvious—overall good hygiene, washing hands, and coughing or sneezing into a tissue or bend of our elbow—the bottom-line answer to this situation is to simply stay home.

But what if your place of employment remains open for business? What then?

It was a sobering thought as I read the memo given to me Friday afternoon before my commute home. I received my “authorization to travel” in the event the surrounding areas enforced a “shelter in place” order. The top line of the memo reads, “Critical Industry Employee, Authorization to Travel.” A statement in the body of the memo reads, “if you work in a critical infrastructure sector as defined by the Department of Homeland Security, you have a special responsibility to maintain your normal work schedule.”

As crazy as it seems, my plan is to do just that.

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Photo by Artem Beliaikin on Pexels.com

I’m the senior administrator for a large insurance company. Working for such a firm guarantees I’ll have plenty to keep me busy while others are hunkered down at home. Don’t get me wrong. This makes me happy, but extraordinarily sad at the same time.

I’m not particularly fond of being considered an “essential” employee. In my opinion, everyone’s place of employment is essential. I truly hate for any business to be closed. What makes my job more important than yours? Nothing, my friend, absolutely nothing. It’s as frustrating to me as it is to you, but while many of you wish you were able to go to work, I secretly wish to be hunkered down at home.

Before Coronavirus, my mantra was to crawl in sick as opposed to call in sick, but since COVID-19 entered the scene, I’ve totally changed my opinion on the matter. So far, I’ve been well, and taking extraordinary precautionary measures to stay that way, but the mental battle to choose work over home is still grueling. I have plenty of PTO time I could take, yet I’m more inclined to work.

My coworkers and I have put many social distancing rules in place. We wash our hands constantly. Hand sanitizer and latex gloves are always within reach. Lysol wipes and spray are always close by for us to use; although, the rationing has begun…

Watching the world being brought to her knees in a matter of a few weeks is surreal. The entire ordeal feels like a terrible movie, and we’re all the stars of the show. Public enemy number one is on the rampage, and no one has the answer in combating such a vicious virus. I think we’re close, but not quite there yet.

When the worst has passed (and it will), we will never be the same. As a people, we will be different. In my opinion, we will be greater. As was the case of September 11, 2001, America will adopt a new normal—but what will it be? That remains to be seen.

All I know for sure is, God is good all the time. He’s never surprised by anything, and always in control. We’ll make it through. Stay strong my friend, and if at all possible—stay home!

Quarantine Creativity with a Musical Twist

By Shannon Boatwright

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In these uncertain times, sometimes you have to get a little creative! I teach drama and musical theatre at Beechwood Middle School. While we are all sequestered at home, I was inspired by a young man named Colin O’Leary who created his own funny videos using Broadway songs. You see, I normally teach 382 kids a day – yes 382! Reaching out to them online has been a really fun challenge and has definitely opened a lot of opportunity for getting creative! So, in the spirit of Mr. O’Leary, I made my own video for my students!

Needless to say, my students have LOVED it. It has been a wonderful thing. The video was even featured on WIS-TV last week. Even better, I’ve challenged my students to get creative and make their own videos to share with me. This eLearning thing is a new adventure for sure, but I’m enjoying being able to connect one on one with my students in really unique ways.

A Strong Southern Woman

By Tina Michelle Cameron

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I began working at Lexington Medical Center on the inpatient oncology unit in September of 2014. This is where I met Hannah. I want to tell you a little bit about my friend and former coworker. She lights up a room when she enters it. She is strong, down to earth, easy going, funny, caring, smart, and an all-around beautiful person, both inside and out. I admire her for so many things, but what I admire most is that she has no fear in standing up for herself and in her ability to speak her mind. My blog posts lately have been about the strong and caring women that I have in my life. I am proud to call them friends. I hope you enjoy reading about Hannah.

Hannah draws you in with her southern accent and beautiful smile. She is a nurse, wife, mom, daughter, aunt, and sister. I asked Hannah to answer some questions for my blog and, even after almost six years of knowing her, I found out some new things about her. She comes from a large family, including four brothers, three sisters, three nieces, and nine nephews. Wow! Both her parents are recipients of the Order of the Palmetto, which is the highest civilian honor bestowed on a South Carolinian. Double wow!

Hannah is 31 and graduated from Clemson University with her BS in Nursing. She is also certified in Oncology. After passing her oncology certification, she decided to apply to grad school. A few years ago, she graduated from Francis Marion with her MBA. She currently works at the Michelin Family Health Center in Lexington. When asked why she chose to be a nurse, she said it was because of her desire to make a difference. Hannah believes in supporting in-state schools, which is why she chose to attend Clemson University and Francis Marion. She is also a die-hard Clemson fan.

Hannah is married to Jeremy and they have two children. Harper is 8 and Brantley is almost 4 months. They also have two dogs, Marley and Bear. Hannah has a huge heart and loves to help veterans. In fact, she is a nurse for the Vets to Washington project. Her hobbies also include spending time with family, watching Clemson football, and watching Harper play softball. She is a Lexington Girls Softball board member. Hannah also is a Civil War reenactor. She loves her country, sweet tea, family, and football.

I hope you enjoyed reading about Hannah. In my opinion, she is a strong southern woman. I have enclosed a few photos of her and her precious family.

Coronavirus and Pregnancy

By Lexington Medical Center

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Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Pregnant women may have many questions about coronavirus. In a recent WLTX interview, Dr. Paul Browne talks about what expectant mothers should know about the virus. Dr. Browne is an OB/GYN at Lexington Maternal Fetal Medicine, a Lexington Medical Center physician practice. He specializes in high-risk pregnancies.

If the video does not work, you can watch the interview here: Dr. Paul Browe on WLTX: Coronavirus and Pregnancy

 

Finding joy in a new hobby

By June Greenlaw

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When I turned 50 a few years ago, it occurred to me that I might want to get moving checking things off my bucket list.  One of the things that has long been on that list is to learn how to quilt.  This past January, my best friend and I took a beginner’s quilting class.  We are now quilting fools!

I was amazed at how easy it was, considering I had not touched a sewing machine since home economics class in 7th grade.  Remember, I’m over 50 now, so that was a long time ago.  I have to give credit to the teachers of the class because they were very patient, but I do believe that anyone can learn to quilt in very little time.

Quilts for Veterans group

During the class, we were able to get the top of our first quilt completely done.  When a friend saw what we had done via facebook, she reached out to us and asked if we would consider making some quilts for Veterans in her hospice center.  Of course, we were honored to do something so small for folks who have done so much for us.  We hope these veterans will sleep half as comfortably under these quilts as we sleep under the blankets of freedom they have each provided to us.

Knowing about this opportunity, we wanted to share with others and touch as many lives as we could, so we coordinated a Quilts for Veterans event.  Many awesome volunteers came together and we were able to complete 24 quilt tops that day.  Those quilts are currently be finished by volunteers and will be presented to the Veterans very soon.

Since then, I completed that first blanket we started in our class and I gave it to my 89-year-old Aunt.  I also completed two baby blankets, one for a boss at work that had just become a Grandfather and another for a niece that is expecting her first child.  I was delighted to be able to give all of them something handmade, but the quilting journey has a few other adventures to report.

I mentioned above that my friend and I took this class together.  Well, that friend and I have a mutual friend that recently lost her Dad.  We received some of her father’s clothing in the mail from one of her relatives.  We were able to use his clothing to create a keepsake quilt for her to, one day, pass on to her children.

We were very proud of all of the quilts I have mentioned, but our favorite, and likely the one that will mean the most to us forever, is one that we created for a girlfriend that is currently receiving treatment for breast cancer.  The quilt was designed with the pink breast cancer ribbon in the middle.  As we told our friend, we know that this diagnosis does not define her, but we wanted her to be able to use this blanket to wrap herself in love while fighting this battle and, afterward, to use it as a reminder of her strength.

Checking this off the bucket list has been incredibly fulfilling already, and I’m excited about all the gifts I will be able to create in the future.  I currently have two wedding quilts on my agenda, and my daughter recently asked me to make one for her friend that is ill.  I feel very blessed that God led me to this hobby because it has given me the ability to do something unique for others.  The best part of making the quilts is always giving them away!

I encourage anyone that has thought about quilting to give it a try.  It’s been a rewarding journey so far, and, as an extra added benefit, it has given us something to do while we all keep our distance from others during this challenging time with the virus.  If not quilting, I hope you will check something off your bucket list soon.

Calling All Guest Bloggers: Embracing Our Virtual Community

By Lexington Medical Center

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Photo by Andrew Neel on Pexels.com

One of our goals of the Every Woman Blog is to facilitate a dialogue and provide a sense of community for the women of the Midlands. And in times like this, a virtual community is even more important! We have hosted many women bloggers over the year who’ve shared all parts of their lives with our readers. Now, as our community faces something unprecedented, we are inviting women of the Midlands to submit a blog post on topics that may be of interest to other women in our community during this time. We may all have a little extra time to write or read and sharing with others may be a real comfort. We invite women of the Midlands to submit guest blogs and strengthen this community.

If you are interested in submitting a guest blog for consideration, please email it as a text attachment or in the body of the email to everywomanbloglmc@gmail.com. To be eligible, blogs must be between 400-600 words and include at least one photo. Publication will be subject to approval.

Has It Ever Occurred to You, Nothing’s Ever ‘Occurred’ to God?

By: Marianna Boyce

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Before ‘Coronavirus,’ ‘social distancing,’ and ‘flattening the curve’ became household words, I planned to submit a comical post written about technology and the older generation, but as the past few weeks began to unfold, I felt it wouldn’t be appropriate at this time.

The title of this particular post is a statement I’ve often heard my dad say, and no, nothing suddenly dawned on God. He didn’t just ‘wake up’ one morning and say, “Wow—I didn’t see that one coming.” Although I find much comfort in that, uncertainty is still somewhat unnerving. This unprecedented crisis developed in breakneck speed, not only in the United States of America, but also around the world.

It’s no secret America is at her best when we all stand together as “one nation, under God, indivisible…” but prayer is the key. Our country was founded on biblical principles. Praying to an all-knowing God has gotten us through some very difficult times in the past, and I have no reason to believe He won’t do the same now.

My pastor says that prayer is the slender nerve that moves the hand of God, but in my opinion, it shouldn’t take a global pandemic to get America back on her knees, yet here we are.

As we seek God’s face in the coming months, let’s fervently pray for our leaders and those in authority. Like them or not, they have an incredibly difficult job.

Of course, our doctors, nurses, and first responders need knowledge, wisdom, and strength to keep pushing forward.

Our truck drivers tirelessly keep our supply chain moving. I’ve noticed many more on the road in the past week or two, and I’m okay with that. How about you? They’re carrying precious cargo—our food, water, and other essential supplies, including that elusive toilet paper. Let’s be patient when we’re on the road with them.

If you’re working extended hours in our grocery stores to clean, sanitize, and re-stock shelves—thank you. You’ve not been forgotten.

As we practice social distancing from our friends, neighbors, and co-workers, let’s not distance ourselves from a great and mighty God. After we thoroughly wash our hands, lets remember to fold them in prayer for one another—not only for the United States of America, but for the entire world.

“Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.” Hebrews 4:16 (KJV)

“The Lord is good, a strong hold in the day of trouble; and he knoweth them that trust in him.” Nahum 1:7 (KJV)

This is one of my favorite verses in the Bible. I’d love to know yours.