My mom had her 96th birthday this month.
She moved into a nursing home two years ago because of mobility issues.
We saw her for a “window visit” a week ago for the first time in 6 months due to the pandemic.
What a disappointment. We had expected she would be thrilled to see us – which she was – and we know what a toll this isolation has taken on her.
It was too chilly for her to come outside as we had planned.
Deliveries were being made right behind us with oxygen tanks being rolled over the pavement. Between that and the wind and other general outdoor noise, my mom had trouble hearing us so we kept repeating things.
We couldn’t show her photos on our phones or anything like that because they were too small for her to see.
45 minutes was much too long. We realized it was much better how we usually do it – she might call me or I will call her even 2 or 3 times a day for just a short phone call – a minute to 5 minutes. Just to talk about something she was thinking about or to chat about someone or just to check in. Those are always upbeat calls – letting her know we love her and are thinking of her.
I left that visit feeling so sad for my mom —- and here it would be her birthday in a another week.
That afternoon I was talking with one of the members of the Back Porch Stampers, Karen Dixon. I was telling her about my day – and she asked – why don’t you put in a request for us to send her birthday cards???
Lightbulb moment!!! In our facebook group, we send bday cards to each other – and several people have requested cards for a special occasions – now why hadn’t I even thought of that myself????
So ——- many many cards have come pouring in – and we make deliveries to my mom almost every day with more cards —- and that has brightened her day more than anything I could think of.
The day after the first batch of cards, I called her and she was almost crying. She said “What people have written is just unbelievable” — and “Did you know that some people add a note that says this card can be reused – am I supposed to give them back to you?”
She had only gotten through half of the 53 cards and she had them spread out all over her bed. The next delivery was 50 more cards.
Another Back Porch Stamper, Debbie Bacon, had suggested I print out a map for her and mark where all of the cards had come from. I told mom I was doing that and that she had received cards from 27 states. She said she could certainly imagine that ——-“You know, thats why it takes me so long to get through each card – I have to study where it came from and everything – its just exhausting!!!!” Today we brought another 40 cards to her. Her response —— “I can’t believe it – I have gotten more cards than my age – who could have ever thought of that!!!”
So – never underestimate the power of sending a card!
Join us in sending cards and sharing card ideas and conversations with each other in the Back Porch Stampers!
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