I just want to go home and snuggle with my baby.

I made that comment to a friend on a cold, rainy Monday morning two weeks ago. A few hours later my wish was granted  — but not the way I would have liked  — when another friend called.

“My husband just tested positive for the virus. I wanted to call you first because I remembered he held Avery yesterday at church,” my friend said.

My five-month-old daughter had to be picked up right away from daycare and so began our week of quarantine at home. I did get lots of snuggles that week working from home. Thankfully, all is well. Neither Avery or I presented with coronavirus symptoms and life has returned to normal for us … at least for now. I think we all live day by day, waiting for a phone call like the one I got two weeks ago.

My family doesn’t live in fear of the unknown  — I hope yours doesn’t either  — but we are keenly aware no plans we make are a sure thing. This long-running pandemic of which we’ve all grown weary makes a habit of turning things upside down with no notice at all.

This week I’m thankful my family is healthy and happy, but my heart still hurts in a way only baby snuggles can help. Too many loved ones are not healthy and happy right now. Close friends are grieving loss and others are struggling to beat this nasty virus.

Nearly every day I hear another report: “So and so didn’t make it. Things were looking up and then, all of a sudden, they weren’t.”

We’re living in a time of loss. A coworker made that observation recently. He’s right. I’ve never known a time quite like this in my 30+ years, and I don’t think we’ll soon forget these days.

I have to believe there’s a silver lining somewhere though. What could it be, I wonder as tears fill my eyes?

Pastor preached a sermon titled “The Ministry of Hymns” Sunday. The message was both beautiful and encouraging as he took us on a trip down memory lane linking together long sung, yet still powerful lyrics of hope.

We are ... standing on the promises of Christ our King. Through eternal ages we’ll let His praises ring.

Through many toils and snares we have already come. His grace has led us safe thus far and grace will bring us home.

One day … We’ll look upon His face, there to sing forever of His saving grace.

Until then … I feel like traveling on. The Lord has been so good to me and I feel like traveling on. I hope you do, too!

Loss has a way of bringing people together like nothing else can. Perhaps that’s our silver lining.

You’re my brother, you’re my sister so take me by the hand. Together we will work until He comes. There’s no foe that can defeat us when we’re walking side by side. As long as there is love we will stand.  A fitting lyric to end on for Valentine’s Day, don’t ya think?

• Sarah Tarr Gove is news editor of The Blackshear Times. Email her at sgove@theblacksheartimes.com.