Strange. Now that the journey markers of each week are gone, it’s hard to remember what day it is without Monday—Bible Study, Tuesday—get groceries and write, Wednesday—answer mail, emails, text and do the wash, Thursday—see patients from 7 am to 7 pm, Friday—special dinner out or at home, Saturday—water flowers, yard work, pick veggies, groceries, Sunday—church and lunch with close friends
No wonder people in nursing homes are thought to be losing their memories when every day is exactly the same and no one comes to visit or eat or have great discussions or listen to music together or meet in the park or go for walks or grocery shop…. Who cares if it’s Friday or Tuesday?
Why put on make-up or do your hair or take another shower or read a decorating or fashion magazine. Or news magazine, for that matter? No wonder the residents all look old and puckered and drag around in old chenille bathrobes. No wonder last year’s magazines are as good as this year’s. No wonder they don’t get tired of that lavender top and want a new striped yellow and lime one—or new shoes, or sharp new slacks. No wonder they are late to the dining room when it doesn’t matter what time it is or what’s for dinner. Everything tastes the same and IS the same anyway. Why play a game when winning or sharpening your wits won’t lead to a wittier banter?
I have to mark my days during this pandemic by doing something that makes me know today isn’t yesterday and certainly won’t be tomorrow! I have to cook different foods. I have to set the table and do it with different place mats and different colored napkins and intentionally different flowers. I have to light the candles and play the music.
I have to actually touch my sweet lover and kiss his lips and watch romantic movies—or disturbing ones or Westerns, or documentaries about Henry VIII. I have to make a blueberry cobbler, even if and especially if I send half of it to a friend in town. I have to take a hot bath in sweet-scented bath salts. I have to like myself.
Today I will pickle some cucumbers and pull some weeds. It matters. I will snip off some zinnias and a stem or two of lavender and put them in a vase with purple phlox and the last of the lilies.
Today I will put on my lipstick and polish my flaking-off nails because even though I can’t go to the nail salon, I will not abide these ugly nails. I will make tea and it will be Earl Gray!
Today I will hug someone who doesn’t have a temperature. Today I will read my new travel planners I just ordered from Amazon even though I pretty much know I can’t go anywhere any time soon.
Today I will co-ordinate my clothes and wear earrings. I will read something so deep and challenging that it will tie my brain in a knot and force me to read it again—and again, and maybe again. I will not give up until I get it! Today, listen to me! Today will not be just another day no different from yesterday or tomorrow. Today I will shine, even if no one is watching. And I will sing!