My husband, Lateef, is my hero of the pandemic. Our family’s hero of the pandemic. I know it sounds corny, but a close friend of mine started referring to him as that whenever I mentioned something he did while we were all home sick with COVID. “Lateef, the true hero of the pandemic,” she would say.
It is hard for me to put into words how thankful I am for the way that Lateef took care of me and our children over the past few months. It was all the little things he did. He has been more than a rock, he has been our compass and our light. He has been our caretaker, chef, hair washer, hair brusher, cleaner, activity coordinator, teacher, tea and food bringer and motivator.
The most important and powerful thing he did to keep us all afloat was the way he kept a positive attitude through it all. That alone helped us navigate our storm. I remember one day I wasn’t feeling well and didn’t have the strength to get out of bed. I was feeling really down and frustrated that day with the lack of progress in my health. He came into the bedroom where I lay in bed and turned on house music. He and Ellington danced at the foot of the bed (and Sienna ran in circles) to cheer me up. It felt so special (I would put the video up, but he’d kill me).
The last Sunday in March I had been largely bed bound for two weeks. I didn’t seem to be getting any better and everything felt uncertertain and overwhelming. When we used to live in New York, we attended First Corinthian Baptist Church near our home in Harlem. We have live-streamed FCBC since then. On this Sunday morning, Lateef brought the iPad into the bedroom for me to watch Pastor Mike Walrond’s service.
His sermon that day was called, “I Am a Warrior”. Pastor Mike talked about how we are all warriors and have so much strength within us to get us through this time. I needed that sermon that day. I cried almost the whole time, but it also gave me strength. When I came into the kitchen after the sermon to make tea, I looked over at the wall. Lateef had made two signs – one included my maiden name and the other my married name.
I was beyond moved. It gave me so much strength to see these signs. And just the thoughtfulness of it. He knew I needed something that day. I needed to know I could get through this. I needed to remember that my family and my ancestors strength was behind me.
Our family’s hero of the pandemic. My hero of the pandemic.
Happy Father’s Day, Lateef! We are so grateful for you. We love you for all you do and all that you stand for. XOXOX