Reasons to be grateful during this time of crisis
Louisiana folks are known for their resilience with many having overcome hardships, endured hurricanes, fought serious illnesses, waded through grief, and now, are navigating a new normal as they find ways to get through a pandemic.
People are pulling together, helping neighbors, looking for the bright spots through this storm, clinging to their faith, and being grateful for what they do have instead of what they don’t have in these tough times.
Amy Cargel Veuleman is feeling grateful for the extra quality time she’s getting with her son, Nick, who will be going away to college in the fall.
“He’s going to LSU Honors College and they have already rescheduled their orientation for June,” Veuleman said. “He is supposed to go to welcome week at LSU in mid-August.”
Kathy Anderson Winfrey and her husband, Scott, are parents of five children — all teenagers. She said she is thankful for the extra time she has had these days to simply hang out with her family.
“We’re always so busy and don’t take the time to just hang out together,” she said. “Now, we have no choice and it’s been so much fun.”
Wade Harper said he is thankful he can do for others.
“I am grateful that I have been able to share some groceries out of my freezer and pantry with some people who really needed it during this difficult time we are going through,” he said.
Allyson Fewell Meche said what she is thankful for is simple but profound: “I’m so grateful for my God-given perseverance and endurance!”
For Linda Gregory Moffett, her neighborhood has become even more special to her during this time.
“I’m grateful to have the time to take care of home projects, meet neighbors, and help those who can’t get out due to health or age,” she said. “Our neighborhood has been creative in reaching out to everyone.”
Daryl L. Boyd is enjoying a slower pace of life. “I’m grateful for that as well as neighbors walking dogs, waving, saying ‘hi,’ and people being nicer to each other,” he said.
Lauren Colley Vincent said she is relying on her strong faith to get her through this time.
“I’m thankful to know I have a God that is in control of all situations and He invites me to trust and lean on Him,” Vincent said.
Cassondra Guilbeau Rasbeary said she was grateful for many things, especially family.
“But also, I am grateful for technology,” she said. “It’s allowing me to continue working, my daughter to continue her studies and all of us to be connected in a meaningful way when we can’t physically be together.”
For Chereth Caldwell and her family, “telehealth” has been a lifeline and is what she is most grateful for right now.
“Our daughter, Karsyn, is still receiving her applied behavior analysis services at home via telehealth,” Caldwell said. “We Facetime with her BCBA (board certified behavior analyst) every day for training and for her to check in on how things are going with Karsyn. I think it’s so amazing how this pandemic has changed but not stopped the way things are being accomplished.”
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Caldwell said Karsyn was diagnosed in 2018 with autoimmune encephalitis. Her body’s immune system was attacking healthy brain cells, which led to inflammation of the brain. Because of her condition she faces challenges such as difficulty with concentration, learning, attention, behavior, impulsivity and other deficits. Thanks to her behavior analyst, Caldwell said her daughter is able to gain improvement through positive reinforcement.
Cary Allen Chavis is thankful life has slowed down a bit.
“It has allowed me to enjoy simplicity, family, and the importance of being ‘a branch’ for people in need,” Chavis said.
Kym Hinton is grateful for many things, including her family, friends, and faith.
“I’m extremely grateful for patience during the home-schooling of my sixth-grader,” Hinton said. “Thank goodness she loves school and she does not hesitate to let me know, ‘that’s not how you pronounce that’ (regarding her French Immersion classes.) I’m grateful for my daughter, Ella; she is my world.”
Being grateful in life is nothing new for Angie Dilmore.
“Gratitude is a mantra I live by, a mindset,” Dilmore said. “The list is long, but lately I’ve been thinking a lot about the essential workers — health care and food industry workers, for example, making a sacrifice to get us all through this crisis.”
Laura LeBouef Duhon is grateful for FaceTime and being able to see her son, Adam.
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“He’s in the Air Force and it has been almost a year since we’ve been together in person,” Duhon said. “He was going to come home for a visit but then the travel ban happened. He’s training to be deployed soon, so who knows when we will be together again.”
Jo Portie echoed the feelings of many in saying she’s grateful for technology.
“I know this sounds crazy, but I’m thankful for my iPhone,” she said. “Even though I’m ‘social distancing,’ my phone enables me to stay in constant contact with friends and family.”
Brandi Lynn Carboni is relishing a slower pace of life during this time.
“Whether it’s with sporting events, meeting with friends, or meeting deadlines at work, we become so consumed with material things and what we can do or buy for our children that we forget the most precious thing of all is our time and our love,” she said. “It’s what they cherish most.”
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Carboni said she’s thankful for having extra time with her children and to see their personalities shine.
“There are things we would have missed before because we were too busy,” she said. “I went from cooking maybe once a day to cooking three times a day. It’s not only helped me come up with new recipes but it’s no longer about just hurry up and get everyone fed. Now, it’s about cooking with my 5-year-old and teaching her. I view it as her way of learning and growing. This has brought our family closer to God and made us humble ourselves for His love.”
Jody Tyler Barrilleaux is thankful for love, saying, “I am grateful for the abundance of love and compassion being shown; not only for our community but the entire world.”
Brittany A. Manuel is grateful to be working for “an amazing company” that is considered essential.
“Second Harvest Food Bank provides thousands of pounds of food to 23 parishes and during this pandemic we are still working full force to ensure each community is getting its needs met by our staff,” Manuel said. “I am also thankful they allow me to work from home to be with my family during this time. It is so heartwarming!”