Best Moments – January 5
It was 70 degrees today in Denver–rare for January and too good to pass up for an outing. So at lunch, Andrea, me and my friend Jilliann loaded up the van and took off for the Denver Zoo. The sun was shining and, for a change, we didn’t need jackets, blankets, ice scrapers and our other winter gear. We walked around the zoo and saw the animals, but mostly enjoyed the sunshine. What a treat. It felt like spring after a long hard winter. There were other mothers, fathers and small children (all under 5 apparently, as school is back in session), and at times it was a bit crowded and noisy.
There was nothing really special about this day except that we were out and about for a couple of hours with a friend. I have to stop here and say the most special part was Jilliann and how she stepped right in and helped take a load off an otherwise lonely routine that we go through every day–Andrea and her parents trying to make a day a little more interesting by getting out in the community on the days when she doesn’t have therapy.
I love Jilliann for many reasons. She’s generous, compassionate, and eager to help. She has been there for me since the beginning–keeping me connected to my old life and helping me through this unknown territory. When we were at Denver Health, she brought me a stack of dollar bills for parking–something you never think of until you pull in the parking garage. She texted me daily to get updates and to see how she could help me. At Kindred, she tried to keep me alive, asking me to go for hikes when I could barely get out of bed each day. We ended up drinking coffee more than walking.
Jilliann also talks a lot–she jokes about it and knows it’s true. She tells me funny stories and shares some fun gossip that I’ve forgotten how to do. Somehow it helps me stay connected to the other world. She also gives of herself, which is the most beautiful thing about her. When we arrived back at the apartment after our outing, Jilliann asked me if there was anything else I needed. Quickly, I answered, “No, I think we’re good.” She narrowed her glance and asked again. Reluctantly I pulled a shopping list out of my purse and said, “There’s a Safeway at the end of the street, do you have time?”
Jilliann showed back up a short while later–carrying a armful of bags–way more than my shopping list. It’s the simple things that we’re grateful for and for Jilliann I am deeply grateful and blessed.
Thank you, JP.