It seems as though each morning we go through the same thing over and over. I say, “Good morning, how are you?” She replies, “Well I am up”. “How did you sleep last night”? Usually it is, “I didn’t sleep very well.” One morning as I was getting dressed, she was already dressed and sitting on the bed. When finally dressed I sat down on the bed beside her and she asked me, “Now what exciting thing should we do today; where would you like to travel?” This has been a question that she has asked quite often lately. I have learned to carry on the conversation, even though I know that there is not very much that we can do given our limitations. I carried on the conversation with, “Why don’t we go to England and see some of the countryside where our ancestors lived” or “Let’s go to Hawaii and lay on the beach and soak up some sunshine.”
She replied, “You know what we should do today is do something nice for someone that will make them happy. There is not much we can do at our age but there ought to be someone we know who needs a lift, something simple that we can do that will make their day a happy day. How about baking some bread, or making a card from our computer programme for our good neighbours Farrell and Marene Thomas who do so much for us.” She then said, “It is too late as we gave our bread-mixer away. I think I remember giving it to Rachel, but I think we still have another bread mixer from Uncle Arlin.” I looked around the house and there it was. But then she couldn’t remember the recipe for the delicious French bread that she has made for me for so many years. We went to the family cookbook that was printed many years ago and found Marsha’s recipe. Our first batch turned out beautiful, and we found a great card. “It’s people like you that make neighbourhoods like ours such a great place to live”. Farrell always says to me, “For all the things we do for you, don’t give us money just give us dough.” So that is what we did, we were happy, and they were very happy.
Then I thought of our friend Clair Empy who has a bad heart and can’t get out and do very much. “Why don’t we visit him and take a card, and I know he would like to read my book from St Mary’s Preflight School where we both attended.” He was a Navy pilot, so we have a lot in common. So, we spent some time on the computer and found a great card to take to him. “Hey Clair! Flip on your switches, adjust your flaps, rev up your engines, and check your, maps… Soar high! Skim low! Do some loops and spins! Have a day filled with high-flying!” I know he and his wife enjoyed the visit, the book and the card. His wife has a big beautiful organ and she played some music for us. So, it was a nice visit for us and them.
I went out in the front yard and there was a thick layer of leaves on the ground. I thought, I don’t know how I can rake up all those leaves, but I started, and then sat in a chair to take a break. Then the gal across the street came over with a rake in hand and started raking leaves. Then her two boys came home from school and they pitched in and she told me, “You just sit in the chair”, and they’d finish raking up the leaves. Then another neighbour came over and before I knew it all the leaves were in bags and hauled off. I baked some cookies and we found a card that told the story of my rescue, “You didn’t just say let me know if there’s something you’d like me to do – you just pitched right in… This comes to say thanks and to let you know just how much you’re appreciated.”
Then we thought of three great teachers we have in the ward and how nice it would be to let them know how much we appreciate them. We baked some more bread and found a card that expressed our feelings for them; “The ability to teach others is a special gift, and we want to thank you for sharing it with us – you’ve made a big difference in our lives”. It is amazing what a loaf of bread and a little note can do for all of us.
Then we thought of our good bishop and his wife. We found an award certificate that we printed out: “The greatest Bishop Award presented to Bert and Chris Wannacutt from the Little Cottonwood 5th Ward Members on November 27, 2011.” We presented it to him Sunday morning and he was thrilled; he said, “You can’t imagine what this means to me; it couldn’t come at a more critical time”.
So, we had a good week doing something simple to give someone a happy day; and mother and I were happy too.