By: Veronica Leighton
This very long, extended lockdown has been straining a lot of people’s patience who are feeling sad, scared and stressed-out. All over the nation, anxieties over the new normal has been taking its tolls.
It is sad that we have now lost some of the freedoms that we have inherently enjoyed doing in our lives all these years; scary, as we have faced and are still facing real-life stories of loved ones’ illnesses, deaths and other unfortunate circumstances; stressful, as all the incidents and events that envelop our lives have been shuttered and shattered…we ask ourselves if things would go back to the old normal, as we have been used to it, and now long for it in our innermost gut feeling.
As what has been happening within our community, nothing is happening, nothing is moving, and no one is coming out unmasked and ungloved to protect themselves against a devastating, unseen enemy. Everything has stood still and has gone virtual, in most cases.
This month’s special events, such as the Nurses Week (featured on our cover), Asian Pacific American Heritage Month, Cinco de Mayo, Mother’s Day, Teachers’ Appreciation, Santacruzan, were celebrated by many in their memories or just virtually. A number of our community’s big events were temporarily canceled (or postponed), such as, Philippine Independence Week Committee, Piyesta Pinoy in Bolingbrook, The Sampaguita Group and Chicago Filipino Asian American Hall of Fame, to name a few.
The much-looked-forward to in one of our life’s milestones is the GRADUATION, which, sad to say, will not be experienced by many graduating students starting from kindergarten to college/post college. Our students are sad and crying for not being able to experience the special graduation moments with their peers, classmates, friends, teachers and their loving parents, grandparents and siblings, who are as equally disappointed as they are. Some schools are doing virtual graduation ceremonies, I don’t know how as I have not seen one, and for parties and get-together, the innovative friends think of holding a parade in front of the honored grad’s house, waving and/or shouting their greetings and giving loving gestures to the new graduate. Love this one!
This brings this matter close to home as my only granddaughter, Maya Leighton, was unfortunately affected by this Covid no-graduation scenario. A senior high school graduate of Maine South High School, Maya loves her school and friends, excelling in many academic subjects and sports activities. She held a VT position as Bata Korner columnist and as a part-time newscaster on Chicago Philippine Reports TV (CPRTV), a charming trophy handler to the outstanding awardees at the prestigious Chicago Filipino Asian American Hall of Fame and started work in her junior year as a camp counselor at the Park Ridge Park District. And, Maya has shed a lot of tears for missing her high school graduation. She is the eldest and only daughter of Christy and Bobby Leighton of ParkRidge, IL.
Proud to present the picture of my only granddaughter in her graduation gown, having been given the privilege to wear and pose for pictures. Please enjoy the rest of our pages in its thinner Covid version, mostly giving salute and accolades to our Covid fighters, the nurses, doctors, aides, technicians, therapists, caregivers, in all their might and courage. Your favorite columnists have not failed in following up on the latest updates and sharing with you the knowledge and information that you want to know and read. Please always keep save, sane, and healthy in these difficult times. We are all together in this fight!###
Maya Leighton, new senior high graduate of Maine South High School, Park Ridge, IL.