When COVID started, we didn't know what was about to happen. Now that we are coming out of the pandemic, we know that it left us with good and bad memories and taught us a lot.
In my case, I used to have a very normal life. I was starting a new school, making new friendships, and enjoying the little summer that I had left. One day, I received an email from my school saying that we couldn't go into school that day because it was very dangerous. At that moment, I felt all the new memories I was making slipping away. I remember thinking that I couldn't make any new ones. But, it all changed when my family and I got to know our neighbor, Patricia.
Patricia was living alone with her cat in the apartment next to ours. We knew how lucky we were to have each other, but we didn't want her to have a bad time because she lived alone. On her birthday, we made her a cake, and since that day, we have started having dinner with her. Every Sunday night, she would come to our apartment and eat homemade pizza while her cat would play with ours. Because COVID was affecting us for longer than we anticipated, we started feeling that Patri was becoming a part of our family. When I used to talk about this with my friends, they thought it was weird because something like this had never happened to them.
When quarantine was over, we didn't stop seeing her, but sadly, a couple of weeks ago, she moved to another building. At my house, we all feel like there is an empty hole, but we know that she left us with the beautiful teaching that family isn't just blood; family is also the people that you love and the people who stick around during hard times. This is a lesson that I promised myself I would bring to my BBYO chapter, Lejadesh #5612, because it is my safe place. Chapter meetings are the only time of the week where I can just be myself without being judged and, above all, my chapter members are my family.
Catalina Kogan is a BBG from Argentina and she's a perfectionist.
All views expressed on content written for The Shofar represent the opinions and thoughts of the individual authors. The author biography represents the author at the time in which they were in BBYO.
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