Saturday, March 9, 2013

Spring and Sprung

Awoke to brilliant sunshine flooding the kitchen, and a beautiful springlike day; perfect for executing "Plan Spring Her". My ninety-five year old step-grandma has been under quarantine for the Norwalk virus for more than two weeks at her seniors residence. Sick residents have been confined to their rooms with their meals delivered. While the healthy seniors are able to eat in the dining room, all activities are cancelled, visitors are prohibited and the place is pretty much in lock-down. Doris has been a trouper through it all, responding to my "it's terrible"s with a gentle, "oh well, what are you going to do. It could be much worse". No complaints. She has stayed upbeat and optimistic but enough is enough. Time to spring her!

I pulled up right in front of the building and walked past the glaring red stop sign warning me not to enter. Doris was ready and waiting by her door and after a quick sidebar on whether to take her walker, we opted to travel light and she took my arm instead. Minutes later she was on the sidewalk inhaling the first breaths of fresh air she'd had in weeks. She turned her face upwards to the sun and sighed a long contented "what a perfect day". Yup - it was just like spring.

We were two girls on the run - Thelma and Louise - racing up and down the aisles at Walmart, Doris tightly gripping the cart as we sped past avocados, up the bread aisle, over to the dairy section. We paused only to debate the merits of soap versus body wash before checking out. Then it was on to the diner for lunch. I opted for the all day breakfast and Doris downed a luscious Belgian waffle with whipped cream and copious cups of hot tea. She charmed the waitress and we got first class service and lots of free refills.

We chatted about old times and husbands. She told me the stories behind the rings on her fingers and how much she missed her husbands, especially her first. Her face softened as she spoke and for a moment I could see the young version of Doris, a girl in love with hopes and dreams.

She fought me on the bill but I won, telling her she could get it the next time. She smiled coyly and as we bid our server goodbye, she said "see you next Saturday dear". I think we have ourselves a new tradition.

She bubbled all the way home, so happy and grateful for the outing and a little visit. It reminded me that it doesn't take much to make her happy, and having her in my life makes my life brighter. And for that, I am so very grateful.

So today, on a beautiful spring day, Doris was sprung. And tonight, we spring ahead an hour.

Spring, sprung, and spring.


  1. Sounds like the perfect solution to a perfect day. You're right! It's the little things that make the big difference. Showing thoughtfulness, caring and just being there - today for a nice Spring outing together. I feel a tradition forming that will mean a lot to Doris. I miss my 'traditional outings' with my mom but relish the memories.

  2. I loved this and the smile on her face in the photo made it even better. I love your spirit. May you be richly blessed times ten for your caring heart.

  3. Lucky Doris to have you and lucky you to recognize the opportunity to brighten another's path :)


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