Elizabeth Aquino is a writer, a caregiver, and an advocate for children with special needs.
Elizabeth Aquino is a writer, a caregiver, and an advocate for children with special needs. Courtesy of Elizabeth Aquino

Good morning. It's Thursday, May 28, and today's message comes from Elizabeth Aquino, who lives in California, but has spent time working on her art in the Pacific Northwest. "I landed a Hedgebrook residency some years ago and spent three weeks on Whidbey Island and spent three weeks in glorious seclusion," she says in her message.

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"When I went to Hedgebrook, it had been nearly two decades since I'd been away or alone. So you can imagine how profoundly life-altering that time was, and how I hold Seattle and the Pacific Northwest so close in my heart."

Why was it her first time alone in two decades? Because Elizabeth is also a primary caregiver of an adult disabled daughter.

As she points out, caregivers are used to social distancing. "We are, as caregivers, sort of used to the isolation—the social isolation, the need to protect our most vulnerable—as now you all are more acquainted with it. Today, I'm going to ask you to think about the 40 million caregivers who live taking care of our most vulnerable citizens in their own homes, as you are in your own homes."

A few years ago, Elizabeth asked other caregivers what they might have told themselves on the day their child was diagnosed. Those caregivers wrote down those messages to themselves, and Elizbeth turned those messages into this video:

Thank you so much for your message, Elizabeth. You are a hero. And so is every other caregiver.

Thank you for the reminder of what caregivers do, day in and day out, pandemic or no pandemic, tending to the most vulnerable in our society, without expectation of acknowledgement or thanks.

And thank you for filling the world with your writing and with your spirit.

Everyone else: Do one thoughtful thing today for someone who isn't expecting it.

And good luck out there.


* *
Previously in this series:


Elby Broschs message to the city on May 26.
Elby Brosch's message to the city on May 26.

Mila Skyys message to the city on May 22.
Mila Skyy's message to the city on May 22.

Michael Lees message to the city on May 21.
Michael Lee's message to the city on May 21.

SassyBlacks message to the city on May 20.
SassyBlack's message to the city on May 20.

Seattle Symphony Horn Sections message to the city on May 19.
Seattle Symphony horn section's message to the city on May 19.

Lori Goldstons message to the city on May 18.
Lori Goldston's message to the city on May 18.

Ibidunni Ojikutus message to the city on May 15.
Ibidunni Ojikutu's message to the city on May 15.

RL Heyers message to the city on May 14.
RL Heyer's message to the city on May 14.

Garth Steins message to the city on May 13.
Garth Stein's message to the city on May 13.

Okanomodés message to the city on May 12.
Okanomodé's message to the city on May 12.

Zoe Scofields message to the city on May 11.
Zoe Scofield's message to the city on May 11.

Aham Oluos message to the city on May 8.
Aham Oluo's message to the city on May 8.

Pete Rushs message to the city on May 7.
Pete Rush's message to the city on May 7.

Trent Moormans message to the city on May 6.
Trent Moorman's message to the city on May 6.

Renée Valencias message to the city on May 5.
Renée Valencia's message to the city on May 5.

Justin Huertass message to the city on May 4.
Justin Huertas's message to the city on May 4.

Charles Mudedes message to the city on May 1.
Charles Mudede's message to the city on May 1.

Kathryn Rathkes message to the city on April 30.
Kathryn Rathke's message to the city on April 30.

Anthony Whites message to the city on April 30.
Anthony White's message to the city on April 30.

Miss Texas 1988s message to the city.
Miss Texas 1988's message to the city.

Matt Bishops message on April 27.
Matt Bishop's message on April 27.

Cherdonnas message to the city on April 26.
Cherdonna's message to the city on April 26.

Shenandoah Daviss message to the city on April 25.
Shenandoah Davis's message to the city on April 25.

Lorena Gonzálezs message to the city on April 24.
Lorena González's message to the city on April 24.

Clyde Petersens message to the city on April 23.
Clyde Petersen's message to the city on April 23.

David Ritts message to the city on April 22.
David Ritt's message to the city on April 22.

Sara Porkalobs message to the city on April 21.
Sara Porkalob's message to the city on April 21.

Julia Sweeneys message to the city on April 20.
Julia Sweeney's message to the city on April 20.

Linda Derschangs message to the city on April 19.
Linda Derschang's message to the city on April 19.

Molly Sidess message to the city on April 18.
Molly Sides's message to the city on April 18.

Nick Garrisons message to the city on April 17.
Nick Garrison's message to the city on April 17.

Tomo Nakayamas message to the city on April 16.
Tomo Nakayama's message to the city on April 16.

Rebecca M. Daviss message to the city April 15.
Rebecca M. Davis's message to the city April 15.

Heather McHughs message to the city on April 14.
Heather McHugh's message to the city on April 14.

Brandon ONeills message to the city on April 13.
Brandon O'Neill's message to the city on April 13.

Kate Wallichs message to the city on April 12.
Kate Wallich's message to the city on April 12.

Rebecca Browns message to the city on April 11.
Rebecca Brown's message to the city on April 11.

Lucien Postlewaites message to the city on April 10.
Lucien Postlewaite's message to the city on April 10.

Betty Wetters message to the city on April 9.
Betty Wetter's message to the city on April 9.

Amanda Morgans message to the city on April 8.
Amanda Morgan's message to the city on April 8.

Nancy Guppys message to the city on April 7.
Nancy Guppy's message to the city on April 7.

Jonathan Bisss message to the city on April 6.
Jonathan Biss's message to the city on April 6.

Chris Jeffriess message to the city on April 5.
Chris Jeffries's message to the city on April 5.

Lesley Hazletons message to the city on April 4.
Lesley Hazleton's message to the city on April 4.

John Rodericks message to the city on April 3.
John Roderick's message to the city on April 3.

Bill Cartys message to the city on April 2.
Bill Carty's message to the city on April 2.

Price Suddarths message to the city on April 1.
Price Suddarth's message to the city on April 1.

Kary Waysons message to the city on March 31.
Kary Wayson's message to the city on March 31.

Ellen Forneys message to the city on March 30.
Ellen Forney's message to the city on March 30.

Major Scaless message to the city on March 29.
Major Scales's message to the city on March 29.

E. J. Kohs message to the city on March 28.
E. J. Koh's message to the city on March 28.

Ken Jenningss message to the city on March 27.
Ken Jennings's message to the city on March 27.

Demarre McGills message to the city on March 26.
Demarre McGill's message to the city on March 26.

Lynn Sheltons Message to the City on March 25th.
Lynn Shelton's Message to the City on March 25th.

Timothy White Eagles message to the city on March 24.
Timothy White Eagle's message to the city on March 24.

Cookie Coutures message to the city on March 23.
Cookie Couture's message to the city on March 23.

Sarah Rudinoffs message to the city on March 22.
Sarah Rudinoff's message to the city on March 22.

John Osebolds message to the city on March 21.
John Osebold's message to the city on March 21.


Ben Gibbards message to the city on March 21.
Ben Gibbard's message to the city on March 20.

Nathan Chans message to the city on March 19.
Nathan Chan's message to the city on March 19.