Going into the last days of a quite severe lockdown leaves me thinking and makes me realise how much I have to be grateful for. Still. Despite the lack of freedom and the loneliness that has come with that sense of captivity. I’ve realised what a solid basis has been surrounding me.

I do not mean to write a corny post, but I’d like to express this anyway.

I’m, first of all, very grateful for my parents, who, throughout the weeks, have spent many hours listening to me and discussing situations with me with all their love and patience. Even though, we have been doing this online and I would much rather have hugged them, they couldn’t have given me more comfort than they did.

My sister and her family (her husband and her lovely children), obviously, have to be mentioned as well. We’ve had many a call (not nearly enough), in which we shared our thoughts on the virus, on the situation, but also on many other things. Just to think and talk about something else and feel a sense of relief.

Friends and relatives. There have been so many friends and relatives checking in on us regularly from countries all over the world. Some have been at my back and call on a daily basis and others would, out of the blue, send a lovely message. Just to let us know that they’d been thinking about us.

Davide’s family. They have had a very similar supporting role to my parents. Calling us online, mostly talking to my boyfriend of course, but always excitedly greeting me whenever they could and wanting to know how I had been doing or feeling.

Billy. The family’s dog. He gets a special mention, because I miss him and I only sometimes have the joy to see him quickly online and then he always manages to make me smile.

Italy’s medical staff. What a heroes. They’ve, unfortunately, all too literally risked their lives for everyone. I feel forever indebted to them and their unwavering courage.

The sun. We’ve been having plenty of sun since December and this does brighten your mood. Also the knowledge that we’re still going to have plenty of sun before winter starts again, is kind of a relief.

The good food. We have the luxury of living in a country where there is plenty of good food, even if trade with other countries became less, the food here would always be good.

Books. I’m glad I like to read, because I don’t think that a situation like this makes a reader out of you when you’re not really a reader, but it helps if you already enjoy reading. Books always stimulate creativity in me and other ways of thinking, making the world less small.

And last but not least. Davide. He’s been such a solid rock. Friendly, calm, and always respectful of my feelings, never getting angry and having a great understanding for my struggles (the fact that I’m so far removed from family and friends during these times). I think we actually managed to fall even more in love with each other during this period, and his consistent support has played a big part in this.

In short (because I am getting really corny now) I have still, during and after this situation, many people to rely on and even though I’ve felt often very restless, when I take my time to just breathe for a moment and think about all of this, it fills me with happiness and joy.

Many thanks to you all!

From Italy with love,

Merel