In my LBL (life before leukaemia) I made my bed every day. I know that doesn’t qualify me for sainthood or even the Good Housekeeping Seal of Excellence but it always helped me start my day regardless of whether I slept well or poorly. It drew a definitive line between Day and Night. Work and Rest.
Another aspect of my LBL was “Tuesday with the Littles.” Every Tuesday, My smallest granddaughters, aged two and five, would arrive at 11 a.m. and leave at 5 p.m. We started with homemade quesadillas and juice and then met some friends at a playground. We would come home for another Grammy-approved snack of cookies or ice cream and hot chocolate with at least two marshmallows. The day would end with a 30-minute romp in the outdoor hot tub. I sent them home with a Fruit-to-GO (only given when jacket was zipped and feet in boots!) and collapsed, hoping the supper fairy would soon arrive (a.k.a. Gerry) and save the day.
We managed to squeeze in one Tuesday after Jasmine’s leukaemia diagnosis and the first thing the little girls noticed was my unmade bed. So they made it. Because they knew it was important to Grammy. I am tearing up as I type this.
It’s the little things.
Helping people through crisis and loss is always hard because we never know what to do, what to say, whether to call or leave them undisturbed. Most people are at a loss for how to respond to a friend who is dealing with tragic circumstances.
What I know from being on both ends (helper and helpless) is that it’s the little things. It’s the thousand tiny kindnesses spread out over time that bring comfort, encouragement, and a smile (through tears).
- Barb’s gourmet garlicky chicken soup delivered to my door when a wicked head cold separated me from hospitalized Jasmine for almost three weeks.
- Denise and/or Audrey, my neighbourhood snow angels, shovelling my driveway and sidewalk.
- Shannon bringing over a cheery yellow flowering plant and staying for tea.
- Judy and Sue meeting me for supper at my fav Thai restaurant and picking up the bill.
- Lorraine taking me to her natural habitat (the mall) and laughing with me as we tried on hats.
- Two tiny girls tugging and pulling and climbing to make a king-sized bed fit for a queen.
The little things become big things in crisis.
Thank you to all of you — there are so many kind acts, words, gifts, prayers not mentioned here — who are holding us up during this leukaemia battle. Jasmine, her parents, her brother and the rest of our family are grateful beyond expressing.