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.
"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: