Letter of Thanks

Today I wrote to the prompt provided my the Isolation Journal: June 27th

Your prompt for the week:
Who, or what, has been a guardian in your grief? If you were to write this person—or mountain, song, animal, sound—a thank you letter, what would it say?

Dear Arlington Neighborhood,
Since March 13, 2020 you have acted as a guardian to my grief and I thank you for being there for me. Not understanding what it meant to live during a pandemic, I stayed home to stay safe. Now many months have past and more normal routines are returning. Yet, it has been a time. I do feel I am grieving a bit. I personally did not get sick or lose anyone I know to Covid. Yet, I sat, night after night, watching the graphs on MSNBC and each morning reading the chart on the Metro page of the Washington Post listing the daily numbers of infected and dying in VA, MD, and DC. Looking back over the past 15 months, I feel compelled to thank you, my Arlington neighborhood, for all your help.

During the Covid lock-down months, I began to take daily walks. You, Arlington neighborhood, provided me with gifts on these walks. Each day your gifts kept me going.

In March, 2020, you provided gorgeous pink magnolia blooms on trees, standing tall, in neighbors’ front yards. I walked on the petals sprinkled on your sidewalks, all providing a little bit of peace.

In April, 2020, you provided a space to hang a personal thank you to those working at your hospital. As I walked past, I saw one of your driveways transformed into stained glass and lower my head to offer a prayer, all providing a little bit of peace.

In May, 2020, you provided the colorful and fragrane of the Bluemont Rose Garden park. As I strolled through, I paused and appreciated the variety, especially the tiny buds, all providing a bit of peace.

In June, 2020, your safe and flexible schools provided closure on a year when in-person teaching was cut short. As I stood 6-feet apart, waving my pom-poms on your school sidewalk, the car parade crawled through and we handed each a treat, all providing a bit of peace.

My dear, Arlington Neighborhood, since March 13, 2020 you have acted as a guardian to my grief and I thank you for being there for me. You provided me with the space to move in 2020 when our world shut down. You provided me with colors, spaces to reflect, sweet smells and a supportive school system. As I walked on your streets, through your parks and cheered outside your schools, you, Arlington, always provided me with a bit of peace. Thank you.

Gratefully yours,

10 thoughts on “Letter of Thanks

  1. margaretsmn says:

    Beautifully written and heart felt. Keep this close when years from now we wonder what was it like to live through a pandemic.


    • sallydonnelly11 says:

      Margaret, Thanks for your kind words. I have tried to write “covid” pieces over the last 15 months as you suggest. So glad you are joining in the Clint Smith book club. See you on the padlet soon! I’m especially interested in your Louisiana perspective!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Fran McCrackin says:

    Sally, I think you nailed that prompt. Your choice of grief guardian surprised me, but just for a moment. Because I knew from your other writing how true this was. I like how you include the school system decisions. I loved seeing the photos, and one format showed them in little circles which was lovely. You know how I feel about covid pieces, that they need to be written. This is a lovely one.


    • sallydonnelly11 says:

      Your comment makes it almost feel like we are together sharing our writing! Thanks for your kind words and I am SO looking forward to being IN PERSON soon, writing!!! Safe travels to Spain!! Can’t wait to read your stories inspired by Summer 2021


  3. franmcveigh says:

    Your pictures convey that sense of piece and the round shape leaves no sharp edges so it really feels like looking into life in Arlington! The grief and peace coexisting . . . gorgeously and generously written!


    • sallydonnelly11 says:

      Fran, using the circle felt right but you put it into words well – looking in, almost like through binaculars. Thanks for commenting and helping me understand why the no sharp edges work. Thanks for your kind words.


  4. Ms Victor Reads says:

    The words you carefully chose help us all see through your eyes some of what your neighborhood offered you. Your gorgeous pictures echo the love you feel. I think that not everyone would have noticed all that you were able to capture by your attentiveness. I love the way you showed different times.


  5. Denise Krebs says:

    Wow, Sally, this post, including the photographs, is so beautiful. What a great topic for your thank you letter to your “guardian of grief.” It makes me stop and think about who my guardian of grief has been this past year. Thank you.


  6. mgminer says:

    Arlington will always feel like home to me and your writing about your beloved neighborhood and school community really works to convey a sense of place. Thank you for reminding me about the roses at Bluemont Park. They are a treasure.


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