Phyllis Donovan: Visitors, Letters Help Keep In Touch

For anyone confined to the house by illness or incapacitation, it is very important to keep in touch with others.    

I learned that the hard way after breaking both legs in a fall that, at the start of the COVID pandemic, kept me homebound with only a 24-hour-a-day aide to keep me company on a regular basis. 

Of course, things have eased up considerably since then but I still enjoy it when people come to visit. And family members and friends still come regularly.

Last week’s church readings contained a message I have always liked and now find even more relevant to my situation. The reading is from St. Matthew and states “For where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I in the midst of them.”

Since my accident, I have always felt frustrated that I cannot get to my church, St. Rose of Lima, every week like I once did. It’s been comforting to know, however, that when Olga Brandl brings me communion from church and we pray together, God is here with the two of us. These weekly visits have become very special to me.

Last weekend my son Brian came to visit me from his home in Shrewsbury, MA. As usual, he came bearing gifts including a huge yellow chrysanthemum, fresh corn, and berries he bought from Geremia’s, our family’s go-to farm stand. Old habits die hard and no matter how far away my offspring settle, they never forget their childhood haunts.

During our visit, he asked about some of the neighbors whose children he grew up with and who are still living nearby. Unfortunately, it made me realize that I had been out of touch with many of them recently and should contact them.

I once was an avid letter writer, but my current daily routine takes up so much of my time I have neglected putting pen to paper to “chat” with some of those who do not text. Texting has become my main method of visiting these days now that I am too deaf to hear on the telephone.

Right then I vowed to myself that I would get busy and write a pack of letters to those long-time friends and acquaintances I have unintentionally lost touch with.

These days my handwriting leaves a lot to be desired, probably because I don’t write much anymore. But I will sit myself down soon and really make an effort to “reach out and touch someone” as the old saying goes.

And who knows? Maybe by reaching out and making the first contact, I will convince some of my former friends to come and pay me a visit, which would be a very special treat indeed.

At the least, it will remind them that I’m still here and thinking about them and the close friendship that we had in the not too distant past.


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