Small Gestures Can Lead To Big Joy

I cried or felt a heaviness in my chest more times than I care to recall this week; it was one of the most difficult I’ve been through. Yet today, I vowed to stop focusing on my joint pain, ear infection and guilt over not seeing my mom for two months. I decided to let go of the anger over a stolen package, distress over police brutality and racial injustice, and the sadness over saying goodbye to my mentee. And, I refused to focus on whether I thoroughly articulated what life as an African-American is like during a teleconference about race at work.

As soon as I got out of bed, I got on my knees and I prayed.

“God, I was handed a heavy load. You made me black, a woman, an autoimmune disease sufferer. I work full time. I try to care for my aging parents, my partner, my friends and my family. It’s a lot. So, I’m asking you to let me find joy and spread it in the smallest way today.

I texted my brother and arranged to meet him at my mother’s rehab facility. I took out four double a batteries and put them in a bag with a costume. I grabbed my car keys and my fiancé and I headed out.

45 minutes later, we arrived at the Rehab center and slipped into my inflatable pig suit.

As I stood outside of the facility, cars slowed down, people stopped and took pictures and others waved. But, it was the smile on my mother’s face as her wheelchair appeared on the other side of the glass that told me my silly gesture was worth it .

“I have to have a picture of this,” she said to the nurse.

After conversing with her by cell phone through glass for less than 15 minutes, my mother was exhausted. But, I’d laid eyes on her myself so I knew she was doing okay. She was thin, weak but her spirit was thriving.

On my way back to the car, a nurse at the facility yelled from the second floor balcony.

“Can I take a picture?”

I stopped, posed and waved to the other gleeful residents before I drove away.

This was a joyful day, I thought. Thank you God. I needed this to face the week ahead.

#Mothersabddaughters #covid19 #nursinghome #cancer #coronavirus #invisibleillness #chronicillness #chronicpain #autoimmunedisease #spoonie

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