I have four grandparents, I’m lucky.

At the moment, I am saying this to myself every day, like a mantra.

Two are at home in the south, being shopped for by my mum and whatsapping me updates on their puzzle building. The other two are about 6700 kilometres – I googled it – across the sea in Barbados.

Video calls – have you heard of Zoom? – are not new for my family. As a young child, I found talking on the phone to my WI family hard. I didn’t know what to say, and felt guilty for avoiding it. Then, Dad downloaded Skype and we could finally see their faces, live! In real time! They could watch us blow out candles and we could see their Christmas dinner. The gap felt that little bit smaller.

There are a lot of big emotions right now and I think I’m managing most of my time trying to stay as distracted as possible. Running. Cooking. Sims 4. Writing. Planning. Lists. That application. A reply. I have always imagined that if anything were to happen to any of my family abroad I would catch the next plane, and be there, and hold their hand and that would somehow make up for not being there all that time. It’s not an option right now.

Deep breath.

The best parts of these days are those sat on video calls. For the first time ever, my entire direct West Indian family have been having brunch together on a Sunday because we are all finally able to sit at a computer at the same time. 21 people! You can’t hear a bloody thing. Someone’s device causes an echo. We can’t really see my grandparents’ faces because of the angle of their camera. But we are all there. For Easter we all made bonnets, some were elaborate with feathers and chicks, my brother just stuck a pompom on his head. After about 30 minutes of people trying to hear each other my uncle takes charge. We all quieten down. A prayer, he thanks God for our safety and health. Amen.

I find it hard not to pray right now. To give thanks for luck, and to hope for that bit more. To keep seeing most of their faces on my computer screen, and to see them in the arrival lounge again.