As many of you know, I spent nearly 100 nights in the Brigham in 2014 (and a few in 2015). Being “locked up” in the hospital is hard— the days are long, the nights are kind of scary and the mornings are the toughest, as you feel like you’re waking up in a bad dream. During my many stays, the one constant that would always make me smile, even at my lowest points, was being able to open a card that someone had sent. My initial month-long stay, I was blessed to have multiple cards to open every single day. I would wait until morning to open them with my breakfast, as I was typically alone during this time, and it would remind me that people were thinking of and praying for me. Truly, every single letter helped to lift my spirits. I’ve kept each one as they made such a difference in some of those dark days. I know, however, that not everyone is as lucky as I was to be able to get cards so frequently. I also know that every single person deserves to know that people are thinking of them– at the very least. They deserve to know that someone, no matter who that someone is, is keeping them in their thoughts and prayers. They deserve to have something put a smile on their face during the day, even if just for a split moment.
That’s why Mike and I have begun writing cards to patients of 7D (the oncology floor I stayed on). The letters are not long or full of wisdom, just simple notes to let these warriors know that they’re not alone, that there are complete strangers that are keeping them in their thoughts. Knowing this, as a patient, really makes a difference. It’s a touching feeling when you realize that people really care.
In one of the cards that I received over a year ago said the following words…
“You are strong. You are loved. And you WILL get through this.”
These words have rung through my head probably a million times over the past year. They have acted as a self-affirmation for me when I’m feeling down, or when I need to be reminded that I can do this. Those three sentences have helped me get through a lot of tough times— and I have the person who wrote them in that greeting card to thank for that.
I wanted to let you all know what we’re doing in hopes to inspire you to write a few yourself. They can be about anything— a funny story, an inspirational note, words of encouragement — whatever you feel fitting! Mike was hesitant at first as he thought he wouldn’t be able to relate to them since he’s not a patient himself, but I reminded him, it’s not about being able to say “I’ve done it too” but rather “I’m thinking of you.” SO, if you’d like to help in this little quest of putting smiles on the faces of some very deserving people— feel free to send me cards addressed to “one very strong Brigham patient!” I am going to begin dropping them off every Wednesday when I come in for my treatments.
My address is: 2 Webster St. Somerville, MA 02145
Many thanks and lots of love,
2 thoughts on “Smile Cards”
Hi Jess and Mike! This is the sweetest idea, I gave one to a patient who was having a particularly lonely day and it definitely made him smile… (I might have teared up). Thank you so much for doing this for our patients! I also love that it means more social visits from you guys, see you soon.
Kristen!!! Hi girl!! I’m so happy to hear that this made one of the patients smile!!! Can’t wait to see you next time!