When the nurses came around the corner and walked into my room without their yellow gowns, and no protective eyewear or N95 masks, I knew we were free. It was a delightful surprise.
I called a nurse to help me put on my mask and drove my chair down the hall, heading to the front door to some fresh air. Get out of my way; I am coming through! I felt like I was going at warp speed!
What was the hurry? My hall had been quarantined for two weeks, which meant I never left my room. It came right after my wonderful adventure across the Sandhills. It was hard to be confined — again.
Now you know why it was such a big deal to me. I have learned, and I want you to learn too, to never take the wonderful, delightful small things for granted. Things like sitting in the sunshine with a breeze blowing across my face. Think about that. Go back and read it again. Until you have lost the little things, you don’t realize they’re not so little after all.
Think about not being able to visit with your friends. God made us to be together, to talk with one another and share with each and laugh together. I believe we are here for each other. It makes us feel good — a warn and fuzzy feeling — to spend time with people we love.
COVID has taken that away. There are no quick trips to Walmart or to go out for ice cream. The CDC rules for nursing homes are more rigid, as they should be, but it means a lot of alone time.
This has definitely taught me to appreciate so many small things, My room is my sanctuary. I can tell you how many pictures are on my walls and how many cards are on my door. There are 14 cards on my door; I know because I have counted them many times, and each time I do, I think of the person who sent the card to me. Do you know how much it means to me to get a card from someone when I have been cooped up for weeks? It absolutely makes my day. And I continue to enjoy the moment each time I look at the card.
Think about how it makes you feel when you look in your mailbox and there is a card just for you.
Small things matter. A phone call, a note, pretty flowers or even a sack of candy. All have brought joy to me through the COVID pandemic. When someone takes 10 minutes to write, it brings me hours of enjoyment.
The thrill I get when I drive my wheelchair through my door into the hallway and just go for a cruise — or go out the front door or even just drive down the hall, make a U-turn and head out in a different direction — is exhilarating.
My world may be small, but all of this is a big deal to me. Don’t forget to appreciate the little things. Don’t let any small experience go by unnoticed. If you do you will miss the joy.