I have so much I want to say these days. No one has to listen, but like everyone in the world currently, pandemic, crisis and precaution occupies my thoughts and actions. Throw into the mix we had a large earthquake yesterday and have had hundreds of aftershocks since then …. never a dull moment.

I don’t want to be amiss or insensitive by glossing over current events by focusing on all Presley related topics. I’m torn. On one hand, it’s deadly serious and vitally important. On the other hand, the pleasant welcomed and breathtakingly beautiful Elvis distraction can provide a sweet fragrance, a flowery rose scent rising above the stinkweed virus stench we cannot currently avoid. 

A balance can be a very good thing. Like the awful atrocities of 911, there was a time when it was necessary to turn off media when it became overwhelming.  It wasn’t being uncaring; it was emotional and sensory overload. Even the heaviest of burdens need to be set down so one can regain strength before hoisting them back up to carry further down the road.

My triplets are 21. The have no memory of 911 as they were barely 3. They have no understanding of the horror and terror and fear we experienced as we tried our best to digest the unknown, envisioning an uncertain and changing future. To them, it’s history, same as our parents spoke to us of the attack on Pearl Harbor. 

We know 911 altered the way of life worldwide. It changed precautions and travel and presented scenarios we had never imagined in real life. My children don’t recall getting on an airplane without TSA checkpoints and removing your shoes. They give no thought to entering concerts or parks or buildings and having their bags searched. It is simply life as they know it. 

To the younger generation, these current events may very well become their life changing 911. The difference being, 911, while horrible, didn’t have the specific day to day impact. Collectively, things changed but for many individuals, their personal daily flow was not grossly interrupted as it is now.

Coming together, helping one another and caring outside of our own bubble will be the positive. Loss, desperation and fear, the negative. 

While the thought of social distancing and increased hygiene measures keep us secluded and isolated, there will ultimately be some brighter sides to this dark time.

I’ve personally taken note of families outside in the evenings, together, but apart, playing with their children, people walking their dogs. My sweet lab Buddy is quite pleased we’ve been having nightly strolls again. Families are not grabbing dinner on the way out to their many events as they navigate their harried schedules, but rather staying in, sitting down, and purposefully sharing a meal.  It was something done religiously with my children and they definitely recall those “Keys for Kids” book dinner discussions and the laughter. They’ve forgotten the groans and moans over the forced talks of of their day. These are things they now fondly remember. 

Other positives will come, I promise. An appreciation for one another will be a bi-product. Reconnecting will become a joy amid the strife. We’re having to deliberately slow down. Homes and businesses will be cleaner and more organized – mine is already as I cannot be on the go as much and can take care of necessary business at home. That in itself reduces my stress level. I’m reading more and writing more – two of my greatest joys, especially when multi-tasking with Elvis filling my ears and feeding my soul. 

I was thinking last night, I’m grateful these restricting times aren’t occurring in our late fall or winter months during freezing temps and snow storms and hurricane season. I’m thankful it is Spring here and although isolated from each other, nature’s beauty isn’t isolated or hiding from us. Instead, Mother Nature is beginning to burst forth in song on center stage, imploring us to admire her splendiferous finery.

With tongue in cheek, we can chuckle at little with our sweet man’s rendition of the fun beat of “Shake a Hand.” Knowing him as we do, social distancing would be an intense challenge and a hardship. Limiting hugs and kisses and the “creeping crud” spread would be agony for our touchy feely man we adore. That was part of his appeal, his readily physical connection to his admirers. Scarves might not have been tossed as freely but that beautiful smile could never be contained or held back.

Grins and waves don’t spread germs and they cost nothing, same as encouragement, kindness and support. Virtually handshakes are the new order of the day and if you must, elbow bumps will work too.

Please be safe. Listen to Elvis. 

——————————————————————

Shake a Hand 

(words & music by Joe Morris)

Just leave it to me

Don’t ever be ashamed

Just give me a chance

I’ll take care of everything

Your troubles I’ll share

Let me know and I’ll be there

I’ll take care of you

Anyplace and anywhere

Shake a hand, shake a hand

Shake a hand, shake a hand

Shake a hand if you can

Be truthful to me,

I’ll be truthful to you

I’m in love with you so

Till I don’t know what to do

So, let’s call it a day

I said all I have to say

Except don’t forget to pray

And shake a hand ev’ry day

Shake a hand, shake a hand,

Shake a hand, shake a hand

Shake a hand, shake a hand

Shake a hand if you can

Recorded 3/12/75, RCA studio C, Hollywood CA

first released on Today