by Jeanine Johnson
I remember being so disappointed when we closed for the second time due to Covid. The holiday season was approaching and I was looking forward to some sense of normalcy with work and daily interactions with colleagues. I was hoping to at least make it through Christmas. While there was still a sense of hesitancy, there was also some relief. It was great to see some of the familiar faces. (Well parts of the faces). We seemed to be falling into a good routine and people’s spirits seemed to be on the rise. It was nice to hear how others were adjusting their plans for the new “normal” and making the best out of the situation.
So back home we went, working remotely and trying to find ways to stay connected, motivated and positive. While I like my solitude, I am not a solitary person. As I planned for the holidays, it was important for me to make sure I got things done early. Almost all of the gifts would be mailed and I wanted to make sure there was plenty of time for them to get to their destinations as the post office was experiencing major delays due to Covid. Most of my gifts were delivered before Christmas, one a month later. I thought it was lost for good and was relieved that it did ultimately arrive. My goal in gift giving was to hopefully bring a little joy into the lives of others. I felt we were all in need of a “pick-me-up”. Looking back on it now, I realize that my need to do it was just as much for me as it was for those receiving. I had a need to bring joy, feel joy, have joy. It felt like so much of that was taken away and I wanted some back.
Of course, I sent a little gift to my favorite Easterseals graduate Mung. I feel like he and his family have become an extended part of mine. He refers to me as Wonder Woman and he is the Joker. I sent him a Joker faced mask. I really appreciate that his mother keeps me updated with pictures periodically. I got to see him in his mask, playing in the snow and opening up the Valentine’s gift from me. They sent me a Christmas gift that I will treasure forever. It was a throw blanket with photos of Mung, my daughter Autumn and me from various day trips. They were some of my favorite photos. I nearly cried. It was such a thoughtful gift. It was like an injection of happiness was administered to me. Their kindness made my holiday and I smile every time I use it. We often know how we feel about others but don’t always know how much we mean to them. A reminder that we are never alone even when we feel that way. I thanked his mother again for sharing her son with me. These are the meaningful things that we should hold on to as they are the things that will guide us through the hard times.
I will remain hopefully optimistic that we are turning a corner with this Covid 19 pandemic as vaccines become more available, numbers decrease and some restrictions lifted. Maybe, not so far in the distant future, we’ll be closer to functioning at some form of the “Old Normal”.