Patty Craig: A Slice of Time
Guidelines and warnings regarding the Covid-19 pandemic have resulted in many of us failing to show others that we care about them as we normally would. I do what is necessary, but not much of what I would like to do, such as visiting family and friends who may be discouraged, lonely, sick or grieving. Yet, I could show that I care in many other ways.
Communication – Today we have many ways to let people know that we care about them. Text messages and private messaging can be read any time and don’t have to be intrusive. I occasionally end a text with the phrase “no reply needed,” because that person may not have the energy to acknowledge multiple texts. Lonely or older people may appreciate a phone call: sometimes it’s nice to hear another person’s voice. Sending a card or a hand-written note is also a good practice. I always enjoy a mailed communication – an unexpected, thoughtful pleasure.
Food – In the south, food equals love. Our moms and grandmothers taught us this by example. Food is an easy way to offer comfort. Porch delivery removes some of the pandemic stress, and carry-out food is readily available if we can’t provide home cooking. If you know a person likes certain snacks, a gift bag of treats would be a nice surprise. During my late husband Larry’s last summer, Paul Freeman Annis brought us fresh garden vegetables through the season. Sometimes he took a few minutes to say hello to Larry, and sometimes he just left the food by the door. His concern for my husband is a kindness I will remember. Food shows that we care.
Gifts – Gifts also show our concern for others. A hand-picked bouquet of flowers from your yard, or flowers from Walmart, the grocery, or a florist would make an excellent gift. Gift cards for coffee, food, or shopping (Walmart and Amazon) might be delivered or mailed. Also, items from the community and farmers’ market, such as home-canned goods, home-baked breads, and crafts, would be a nice surprise. A bag or basket of seasonal fruit or a scented candle would be thoughtful gifts, too. Gifts help us to care for others, showing that they are in our thoughts, and it’s not about the price.
Franklin D. Roosevelt said, “Human kindness has never weakened the stamina or softened the fiber of a free people. A nation does not have to be cruel to be tough,” and Dalai Lama said, “…there isn’t anyone who doesn’t appreciate kindness and compassion” (https://www.brainyquote.com/topics/kindness-quotes). Especially in these times, people need to feel that someone cares, perhaps through communication, food, and gifts. I can’t think of a better time to share a bit of kindness and compassion.