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A grateful heart

A grateful heart
A grateful heart
Dr. Wayne Willis

My wife is a parish visitor. Most of Dottie’s visits are with those we once called shut-ins, assisted living or nursing home residents and others for whom getting out is not easy.

Since the pandemic, visitation rules have changed at many of these facilities so that visitors, even family members, are barred from face-to-face contact. Parish visitors, like families, have to be creative and find new ways to connect.

One lady in her mid-80s (we’ll call her Louise) and Dottie have developed a unique bond. They never see each other anymore, but each week last summer Dottie prepared for her a bouquet of 15 to 20 cut flowers from our yard arranged in a gold recyclable cup. An employee comes to the facility’s front door, receives the flowers and delivers them. Louise, feeling joy and gratitude, writes a letter that reaches our mailbox several days later. Here are some excerpts from one letter:

Upon reading your sweet note and seeing yet another colorful bouquet, I was simply thunderstruck.

I’m flattered that you’ve kept my smeared and lopsided writings. Decent penmanship from arthritic hands kind of flew out the window.

I have been glorious felines in my previous lives.

I have saved several of the gold cups your flowers came in for use next year! I’m drying lots of the blooms to give the seeds to several admirers who entered my room and oohed and aahed, as I did each week, about the beauty. Half of my kitchen counter is the incubator!

Know that I care for you as a sister, and my heart is very heavy.

Such vintage, picturesque wording is rarely used in friendly letters anymore.

Thanksgiving suggestions:

1. Let your gratitude flow. Write it down. Stamp an envelope and mail it.

2. Plan a flower garden for next spring.

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