Written from an interview with Gail Kirby, Seacoast Greenville Campus
This Mother’s Day, we have even more reason to celebrate moms. During the current stay-at-home guidelines, moms have become full-time teachers, school lunch ladies, principals, babysitters of extended family members, and more! Moms who thought they were juggling a lot before COVID-19 now find themselves stretched in ways they could have never imagined.
Gail Kirby of the Seacoast Greenville Campus is a nurse practitioner who works in nephrology. Since she and her husband, Dee, both have to be physically present at their jobs, they have needed to rely heavily on their own mothers to take care of their kids, Daniel (13) and Anna (10), during the day.
Both grandmothers have stepped up to help with eLearning and entertain the kids. Grammy Cheryl, who is also a long-time Seacoast Greenville member, has picked up the game of badminton since giving Anna a set for Christmas. Always a fierce competitor, she does not let the children win unless they earn it. She enjoys riding around the neighborhood with them on Anna’s Razor Delta Wing. Nana Peggy loves to take the kids on various “Nana Adventures.” So far, their favorite has been fishing, which has become Daniel’s new passion in life.
Gail says their support has been crucial during this difficult time. “Anna and Daniel desperately want to go back to school. They want to see their friends and cousins, but they can’t right now. So, we are making the best of it with the help of our moms. I make sure I am available to them when I am home, and I try to plan fun things to do.”
AN ANCHOR OF GRATITUDE
Gail particularly enjoys family meals where Dee mans the grill, and she and the kids prepare the rest, but she also loves getting takeout from a local restaurant one night a week. She is thankful for the time spent outside in the beautiful weather.
Amid the fun, family time, Gail admits she has underlying fear as a healthcare professional. “Some of my fear is healthy. It causes me to take all the precautions, such as washing my hands until they peel, bathing as soon as I get home, and constantly wearing my face mask, but I also have fear that is not from God that I have to continuously pray through. Just today, the Lord reminded me that while I have the fear of being exposed, others are worrying about family members with COVID-19 who may die.”
Her husband, Dee, is also at risk of being exposed to the virus as the Director of Operations of a company that owns rural grocery stores in upstate South Carolina. His job involves a lot of hands-on work, fixing things that break, and unloading grocery trucks to help make sure the stores are well supplied for their customers.
Gail says, “He has been a rock for me when I am dealing with my fear. He lets me talk about it. Then, he asks follow-up questions that let me know I am being careful and doing an amazing job. He prays over my family and me. His support has made this a sweet time in our marriage.”
“Just today, the Lord reminded me that while I have the fear of being exposed, others are worrying about family members with COVID-19 who may die.” – Gayle Kirby
Another anchor for Gail has been her continued involvement at church. As an elder of the Greenville Campus, she supports both the staff and the members. When God puts someone on her heart, she reaches out with a text and prays for that person. She and Dee continue to lead their small group through online meetings, and Gail serves in the elementary school Kidscoast Zoom meetings.
Gail says, “I am grateful for the opportunities that Seacoast has to keep us all engaged. I have loved each and every sermon, and I love the music. BUT I miss a real, live service.”
She is grateful for everyone who has sacrificed to be at home during this crisis. “Until you know someone who has had COVID-19, you may not completely understand the fear and devastation the virus brings to a family. This time has been hard for everyone, but having people stay home initially has saved lives.”
This Mother’s Day, Gail wants to celebrate all moms—including her mom and mother-in-law—who are doing so much to make life easier for the family. Her plans for Mother’s Day include reading a book and taking a nap. But she says she would also like to meet a friend or ten in an open field with a lounge chair to talk and laugh. And, of course, she would like to spend some time with her kids.
“These kids are a gift. We have bonded in a way that wouldn’t have been possible with our busy schedule before COVID-19. I feel it more than ever right now.”
Header Photo Credit: Janet Powell, Silly Goose Photography