You don’t know what you’ve got…

5 years ago, while still healing from radiation, I stepped wrong going down the stairs and broke my foot. I remember thinking that I never realized I take “walking with ease” for granted. I tried to use crutches, but it rubbed on my already raw skin, making it nearly unbearable. 20 rounds of radiation had peeled away layers of skin right where the crutches sat under my arm. A friend suggested a knee scooter. What a game changer! Now I could get around more easily, but since I couldn’t put weight on my broken left foot, it still made it a challenge to get around. It was better, but wow did I appreciate my foot the first day I could wear regular shoes. I kind of forget about it until it comes up in my Facebook memories.

This week is both nurse appreciation week and teacher appreciation week. I have 2 sisters… a nurse and a teacher. While their jobs are much easier to explain than mine is, their jobs certainly aren’t easier to do. I think many people across the world are realizing the impact of teachers and nurses. Many of us are trying to help our kids do distance/remote learning. We are now how I was when I broke my foot – not realizing what I had until it was gone.

But it’s not “gone” … the teachers are putting in even more hours to try and connect with kids virtually, following up with emails, Zoom or Google meets, sending kids notes, etc. Some parents are looking for the scooter to make it easier, but it’s still a challenge. It’s difficult to explain to kids why they can’t hang out with friends. It’s hard to see them miss the connections with their teachers and classmates. Heart warming stories of unique ways students and teachers are connecting are popping up all over. Look for those stories. I’m thankful for my teacher sister.

Nurses are also getting much more respect and admiration. Many nurses are holding the hands of those who are sick. They are the last person a dying patient sees. They are managing their other patients, trying to keep them safe and get them healthy. They are trying to manage their PPE, when most of us recently learned what that means. They are volunteering to help other hospitals & working long hours. They are staying separated from their families because of their exposure to high risk patients. They are saying prayers for their patients and coworkers and themselves. They are cheered in big cities, and hopefully appreciated in small cities also. We are giving them a scooter by sewing masks or donating meals. I am thankful for my nurse sister.

There are a lot of things we are realizing that we miss right now. The hair stylists, the full church, the corner bar, the favorite restaurant, the handshakes and hugs … all have more meaning when we feel them missing in our lives. Peace be with you on your journey of enough. May you stop for a moment and thank a teacher or a nurse, but don’t stop there. There are so many people to be grateful for. You are one of them. Hang in there!

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