When I was still in the hospital, I was desperate for a pony tail holder. My hair was driving me crazy–I couldn’t wash it for almost a month except for a “chemical” wash in a thing like a shower cap. One day a volunteer came in to deliver my mail, and asked if there was anything she could do for me. I told her if she could get me a pony tail holder, I would be forever grateful. And she found one! It was one of the most wonderful moments of my life to be able to put my hair up! Thank you, mam, for your volunteer service at the hospital.
Also while I was in the hospital, I received mail. I got mail every day. When the volunteer came in to deliver my mail, they always said “You get more mail than anyone in this hospital.” In all, I got more than a hundred pieces of mail. There were so many cards and letters, and drawings from the sender’s children. Some days, all the pieces of mail were in yellow envelopes. Some days they were all in purple envelopes. And on one day all the mail I received was from former members of Girl Scout Troop 147, which I was the leader of from 1984 until 1990. I was amazed that those girls still thought of me after all this time.
Getting all that mail meant so much to me. It made me feel less alone, and more loved, than any of you who took the time to write my name on an envelope and stick a stamp on it will ever know. Being in a hospital 2000 miles from your family and friends, and 200 miles from your home, is a very lonely time. Getting all that mail really helped me feel better.
Another small thing was a phone call from Elaine, who I worked with at BellSouth back in the late 1980’s. She is one of my Facebook friends, and we tried to meet up for dinner a couple of years ago before the Zappa Plays Zappa concert in Atlanta, but things got too busy and we were only able to talk for a few minutes at the concert. She called me to tell me that she, too, had a colostomy back in 199o something. She talked about how she coped with it, and gave me some good advice. Mostly, for me, it was something I really needed at the time–to know that I was not alone and that there was someone who I could talk to at any time. Thank you, Elaine!
And last, I received 218 text messages from so many different people. I normally don’t text–I have email and Facebook, and use those almost exclusively to communicate with my family and friends. But when they put the first tube in my throat, I sent out a message that I would not be able to talk so if anyone wanted to say something to me, they should send a text message. And boy did they ever. Those texts, at all hours of the day and night, really helped me feel like people had not forgotten me.
So, yes, all of these are little things, but had huge impact on me. Thank you to everyone who reached out in some way. Every little thing helped me feel better.