Missed milestones in the midst of mayhem

Written by Lisa Tyson

Photo by Joshua Mcknight from Pexels

I have never hated—I mean really hated—a word before. A word is simply a word, it has no real power. But this word, I hate it. 

While I had heard this word before, and probably even used it, I had never really given it extra thought before mid-March.

At this moment, I hope I never hear it again. 


If you are wondering why this word and I are not friends, let me explain. 

Since March, the u-word (as I have coined it) has been consistently accompanied by some version of the phrase “due to these unprecedented times.” And what comes next is never what I want to hear or read.   

Because of these unprecedented times, my family is missing major milestones. I don’t like it—not even a little bit.   

Let me pose the question: What milestones are you missing?

         A sports season?

                  A family celebration?

                           A big birthday?

                                    A graduation?

My family has missed them all! 

Graduation without a goodbye

As a parent, I feel that the hardest thing to miss has been graduation. Sports will resume, families will reunite, and birthdays will come around again. But graduation—graduation is one of those once in a lifetime events. And in these unprecedented times, graduation is not happening. 

Kindergarten ended. 

Elementary school ended. 

Middle and high school ended. 

College…I repeat, college…ended. 

And none of these endings resulted in a goodbye, were accompanied by time honored traditions, nor were there last walks through school hallways or campuses. No one had peers and teachers cheering them on to their next adventures. Hats were not thrown in the air. And last days came and went with seemingly zero recognition. 

What the u-word stole 

It is unprecedented

See…it’s the word that will forever be tied to all of the things that didn’t happen. It stinks. And I’m sad. 

I feel cheated. I wanted the pictures. I wanted the memories. I wanted the whole experience with the boring graduation speaker and sappy speeches. 

I wanted to hear the graduates’ names I have watched grow up and smile.  I wanted it all, and I didn’t get it. My son didn’t either. 

Blessings over missings

You know what else was unprecedented

The ark that Noah built and the storm that followed, Jacob wrestling with God, and a shepherd boy becoming king—all were unprecedented circumstances (Genesis 5:9, Genesis 32, 1 Samuel 17). Jonah being swallowed by a big fish and living to tell about it, Peter walking on water, the feeding of 5,000 people with a little boy’s lunch, and a virgin conceiving a child who would one day rise from the dead and ascend into heaven—again were unprecedented happenings (Jonah 1, Matthew 14:22-36, Matthew 14, Luke 1:26-38, Luke 24:1-49).   

So maybe the u-word isn’t so bad after all. 

If you think about it biblically, unprecedented really means that God did something incredible and the people who experienced it were never the same. So grieve your losses. Then, choose to celebrate in an unprecedented way so that one day, when you think about 2020, you remember the blessings more than the missings.

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