‘Dear Special Person’: Students’ letters lift spirits of nursing home residents whose family can’t visit amid COVID-19 restrictions

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Maddie Keil, a junior at Rowland Hall, is pictured with one of the letters she wrote to patients of the Life Care Center who are unable to have visitors due to concerns about COVID-19 spread at her home in Cottonwood Heights on Thursday, March 26, 2020.

Maddie Keil, a junior at Rowland Hall, is pictured with one of the letters she wrote to patients of the Life Care Center who are unable to have visitors due to concerns about COVID-19 spread at her home in Cottonwood Heights on Thursday, March 26, 2020. | Laura Seitz, Deseret News

‘Not everything is amazing right now but everything will get better’

HOLLADAY — They are letters written to no one in particular.

But under conditions imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic, the letters from middle and high schoolers to residents of Life Care Center of Salt Lake City have helped to lift their spirits at a time when their families are restricted from visiting them.

Like this letter:

“Dear Special Person,

I’m so sorry you can’t see your family at this time. Hopefully it blows over. This could be a very tuff time for you but it’s important to keep you healthy so that you can see your loved ones again soon. I hope you are having a good day and that you see your family soon.

Best,

Marissa, 8th grade

Or this one:

“Dear someone very special,

I hope all is going well! I understand not everything is amazing right now but everything will get better! It just takes a bit of believing and hoping.

It’s not easy not seeing someone you love and care for, not seeing mothers and fathers, siblings and just family in general in a time like this. In every bad part of life, there is always going to be an upcoming. People who can get through struggles like this are very strong and you need to keep fighting and being strong! Something good is coming everyone’s way, it just will take time. Time and patience are what we all are going to need.

“With the new day comes new strength and new thoughts” — Eleanor Roosevelt.

Keep all positive thoughts. Everything will get better. A reminder; you are loved, you are important, and the positive energy you are giving out is very much needed.

Sincerely,

Serenity, 8th grade

Kathy Howa, a health teacher at Jordan School District’s West Jordan Middle School, asked her middle school students and Rowland Hall High School softball players she coaches to write letters to residents of the nursing home after reading the plaintive Facebook post of journalist Cathy Free. Howa and Free have known since they both were students at Hillcrest High School.

Free’s post said: “I just received a call from my mom’s care center. Until further notice, beginning immediately, no visitors are allowed whatsoever. I’ve been visiting my mom faithfully, three days a week for two and a half years. I brighten her day and she brightens mine. I understand why precautions have to be taken, but I still feel like crying. I’ll call her twice a day, but it won’t be the same. Let’s hope this doesn’t last long.”

Howa enlisted the help of her middle school students to write the letters as a class assignment, although it wasn’t graded and was voluntary. Her softball players volunteered to …read more

Source:: Deseret News – Utah News

      

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