Lessons from COVID-19: How 130 Birthday Cards Can Change A Person’s Life

Gratitude Day 496

Tues., Aug. 11, 2020

Psalm 9:1 – I will thank you, Lord, with all my heart; I will talk about all your wonderful acts.

Nothing like 130 birthday cards to brighten up a 90-year-old woman.

A few weeks ago, I asked if 90 of my friends would be willing to send a birthday card to my Aunt Beverly. She was turning 90 and of course, her birthday plans had all been canceled because of COVID-19. Having been sequestered to her room at a care facility since March 8, Aunt Beverly was down. Discouraged. Disappointed.

Until the birthday cards started showing up.

At first, there were just a few cards. One day, 13 arrived. A couple days later, she had a total of 22 cards. On the actual day of her birthday, Beverly had 87 birthday cards. From across the United States.

And she was so pleased.

After the cards started arriving, I “called” her for our typical Sunday worship/devotion time. She began our conversation with, “Dianne, what have you done? Why am I getting all these cards? Many of them from Wisconsin?”

There was no getting around it. I had to clue her in about what was happening because hopefully, a lot more cards would be arriving.

And they did.

A few days before her birthday, Aunt Beverly was able to see her son, Steve, for the first time in about four months. It was required that they meet outside. Beverly toted the cards along to show Steve. She was so excited to show them to him.

On the actual day of her birthday, my two friends Mary and Rhoda jo

ined me for a special call to Aunt Beverly. Steve had dropped off bread and juice at the front desk and it had been delivered to Beverly’s room. This allowed for us to have communion together … something Aunt Beverly had not had for months. There was a little hesitation when she couldn’t get the juice bottle open, but she did. It was a special moment when we honored Aunt Bev by celebrating communion together.

While not quite 90 cards arrived by her birthday, I was optimistic there were still some on there way. The cards continued to arrive for about another week. The numbers continued to climb and toppled out at 130.

Aunt Beverly has been completely amazed with all of the cards. She’s looked through them several times. She loves to see the various places from where they came from. It truly has brought so much joy to her life.

Her favorite part? Easy. How many of the cards were addressed to Aunt Beverly. It has tickled her so much how many of the cards where personalized just for her.

Aunt Beverly has requested that I let my friends know how much these cards mean to her. I’m sure you all understand that it’s not really possible for Aunt Beverly to respond to each person individually. She and I hope this group “thank you” will suffice.

Nonetheless, Aunt Bev wants everyone to know how much she has enjoyed your cards. One of the challenges of growing old is outliving your friends. Yes, this is Aunt Bev’s case. Yet, she now feels like she has gained a whole new bunch of friends. From all across the United States.

So, from the bottom of our hearts, “thank you” for making one woman’s day/month/year. Recently, a friend shared with me a news story she saw on national TV. It featured a woman who turned 90 and was in the same situation as Aunt Beverly. In a care facility and unable to celebrate her birthday, she received something like 80 cards.

Well, you guys blew that number out of the park! While Aunt Beverly didn’t make national news, the joy and excitement and pleasure she has received from those cards truly outshines being on national television.

Sometimes it works out that my friends Rhoda and Mary join in for my Sunday devotion/worship time with Aunt Beverly. The three of us called her this last Sunday. It’s been so fun for these ladies develop a friendship with someone new. I’m not sure who feels more special about it: Aunt Beverly or my friends. In the end, it has been so fun to watch how these ladies, who have never physically met, are choosing to become friends as we spend a little time reflecting upon God together.

Here’s my little encouragement for today: please never underestimate the power of a card. Or some little act of kindness. When we choose to do one little thing each day for someone else, I think we would be amazed to observe how our demeanor and feelings about ourselves WILL change. Try it … and find out.

In letting Aunt Beverly have the last word, she specifically wanted to me to thank all of her new “nieces and nephews” from across the United States for remembering her birthday. And she loves you all.

For those willing to help brighten one woman’s life, I am grateful.

Blessings –

Dianne

Holy God – I pray that we NEVER forget how important the little things are. It’s so easy to put all of our time and energy into the seemingly big things. Yet, it’s amazing how doing a little thing every day can profoundly change our attitudes, feelings and outlook. I pray we will find little ways to make a difference every day. Amen.  

If you have enjoyed this blog, please pass it along to someone else who will also enjoy it.

Just in case you’d like to send Aunt Beverly another card, here’s her address again:

Aunt Beverly Anderson

10200 E Harvard Ave Apt 200

Denver, CO  80231-3946

One Reply to “Lessons from COVID-19: How 130 Birthday Cards Can Change A Person’s Life”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.