Iowa Specialty Hospital

From Ashley's Perspective

November 16, 2020

Rylan Recknor wearing her Santa hatWe are over eight months into preparing, planning and adjusting to the COVID-19 pandemic. It has been a roller coaster and we are not done yet. Emotions are high and many of us are tired, yet we all keep pushing through as that is what we do as healthcare workers because we know it has to be done.

This week my husband left for a work trip early one morning before we were up, and when Rylan woke up she asked “how many sleeps will Daddy be gone?”

I told her “9 sleeps”.

Rylan then asked, “Is 9 more than 5?”

My response “yes”.

Rylan was silent, which if you know her, she is not ever silent, but she was tired and was processing how long her dad was going to be gone.  You see a few weeks ago, he was gone for 5 sleeps and that seemed like a “VERY LONG TIME” at the time to a three year old. Now it is going to be longer.

As we finished getting ready, I asked her to grab her jacket and hat. I came around the corner to find her standing in her locker trying to reach her Santa hat.  I paused for a moment and chose to help her get it and put it on.  Once the hat was on, her smile grew so big and she said “It’s Almost Christmas” with so much excitement! We proceeded to pack up and leave the house for the day.  As we dropped off at Kids Korner, two moms smiling said how much they liked her hat and she smiled back. 

This week in that moment I choose to allow Rylan to do what she wanted to bring herself joy and in reflection she brought joy to others.  Many times before I would have said no it is too soon to wear your Santa hat or attempted to talk her out of it. Instead, I fully supported her in what she needed at the moment.

Therefore, I ask each and every one of you to also identify something that is small but could bring you a little joy. It may be having pumpkin spice or peppermint mocha coffee, or putting up your Christmas tree early, or wearing a Santa Hat, or maybe it is simply five minutes to yourself in silence; whatever it is that is going to bring you joy  - do it! You certainly have earned it! You may be amazed at how such a little act can also put a smile on others’ faces, and we all could use more smiles right now!  

Over the next week I would love for each of you to share your little joy moments with me or in our Employee Facebook Group. We will get through this together, and thank you all for everything you are doing each and every day!

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