by Regina ‘Jeng’ Matias-Villa
“SPARE US, O LORD!” This is the prayer that I utter each day. Being a wife of a frontliner, who works in the Emergency Room in Hoboken University Medical Center, the fear of Covid-19 has creeped into our household. Things have not been the same as we took on preventive measures as a family. The struggle is so real! This difficult time has tested our vow of “in sickness and in health” and has made me consider what I truly value as a person, a wife, and a mother. I am thankful that so far, no one in our family has gotten sick. I’ve shed a lot of tears in the past weeks. Hearing about the deaths of people I know or having received texts from families asking for prayers, many are experiencing tough times. Many are hurting, isolating, and carrying quite heavy burdens. The virus can hit the strongest and the kindest. The virus can be inside our home anytime.
Just as Covid-19 is an invisible enemy, we have an invisible Ally, too. I saw God’s hands in a friend who dropped off N-95 masks for my husband. I felt God’s presence in the Easter flowers delivered that said, “This too shall pass.” I heard God’s voice in the songs sung at OLM’s virtual Masses on Sundays. I get texts or phone calls from people checking on my husband, Oniths, and me; on our children, Fiona, Florence and Fyllip; and on Mommy Erlie, who is 75 years old. I hear of recoveries from Covid-19. Oniths comes home in good health after each shift in the hospital, sometimes bringing home a meal donated to the healthcare workers. All these things are proofs that God is present in this crisis. God is reassuring us of His guidance and protection. This is certainly a time when we should hold on to Him more tightly. Every night, we pray the Rosary and the Chaplet of the Divine Mercy. When my spirit is weak or my heart is troubled, I say, Jesus, I trust in you! I do not know when this will end, but I do know that God is walking with me, and with all of us, so HANG IN THERE!