A family in the Bay Area and people coming together

Mural with two women wearing face masks facing each other, two shells in center
Wall mural "No Justice it's just us" under awning for "Bradford Pharmacy Rx"

Fortunately for me and my family we live in a town that is very diverse.

We're close to Oakland, not too far from San Jose, and just across the bay from San Francisco. I didn't get to experience protests in my town due to the fact that I am a single mother of eight. But during the protest we watched live streams of the helicopters on the news channels on YouTube.

Our daily life has changed in many ways where we dealt with different levels of depression from the solitude. I saw it and waves with my children, I had it in waves with myself that I had to deal with on my own. Sometimes when we need to work through our emotions we would have outlets that we no longer had during the pandemic due to shelter in place in effect. My children very much missed being around their friends at school a lot of them lost contact with all their friends. we had to implement workstations for each person and get chromebooks and maintain an internet service, which we never had before. All of the fun things that we would have done in the summer such as going to the beach, or going to the park, or going to Great America, or camping, and family barbecues we weren't able to do. So as a mother of eight children I had to improvise. We started doing home projects that would add to the children's fun, the young children. I had my oldest son who's now 18 build a 5-foot 5 sandbox but I could only afford five bags of sand.

Thankfully our food stamp card which was normally only about $100 skyrocketed from lack of school lunch and I was able to pay for other things such as the Internet, the Disney+ app for my kids and things like that to help them be occupied. We also stocked up on crafts and buying markers and crayons became almost a weekly occurrence.

I think the memory that will most stick with me is the healing that me and my children have been through. With all the emotion and the solitude and ups and downs, I really had to be more therapeutic and also faced my own poor qualities (for lack of better term) I think it for sure has helped me to be a better parent but is also helped my children to where they will grow up and be better than they possibly could.

A lot of the conversations, besides our own personal issues revolved around politics this year and I'm hoping that for a lot of people in the world it did, because everything, as far as homeless people, as far as police brutality, as far as racism, as far as all kinds of judgemental thinking/ close-mindedness and how it really affects our world was of upmost importance. I hope that the world sees outside of their own personal box and that this makes a positive change for all of future Generations.

The way that these current events have led me to see my community differently has all been positive. I see more people caring than I thought.

The protests and riots and all of these wonderful activist groups really opened my eyes to the amount of people that are banning together to make a difference. Also, I never thought I could be an activist and now I've learned that I can and that's sometimes in my own ways I already was even if not in the limelight or with certain groups. I feel that everyone in their own way could be an activist.

I remember the last night that I really watched riots and it was, I believe the second day that they had implemented a 10 or 11 curfew, in Oakland California. There were videos of people social distancing with their masks on, so being highly responsible, and dancing synchronously in the street!!!!

I have never been more proud to be a resident of the Bay Area, California then at that moment of watching that footage. It just showed me how beautiful the human race can be.