If you are out and about in the sunshine, at the beach, mowing the grass, walking the dog, going shopping, hiking, taking in a ball game, swimming, bicycling, boating, vacationing ~ even standing at your backyard grill surrounded by family and friends for a BBQ, you are more fortunate than someone looking at the same four walls day in and day out.
1. a river that’s naturally confined within a deep, narrow channel;
2. a person confined indoors, especially as a result of physical or mental disability.
Johnson’s Shut-Ins State Park in Missouri illustrates the river definition in the East Fork of the Black River. Bounded by rocks so hard they resist erosion, the water spills down and around smooth igneous boulders, creating a natural water park for play.
But for many who fall into the second definition, life is dull and limited for being a shut-in at a nursing home, relative’s home, rehabilitation facility, hospital or one’s own home. The reasons vary from aging to agoraphobia, infirmity to confusion, temporary illness or long-term recovery. The reason is beside the point. The fact of being shut in is the point, and fresh flowers lift a person’s spirits immensely in ways nothing else can for many reasons:
- flowers are beautiful
- greenery brings nature indoors
- floral blooms last for days, even more than a week
- recipient knows someone cares
- seeing flowers many times a day warms the heart
- a pretty vase keeps the memory of the flowers
- someone knows s/he has not been forgotten
- the surprise element of fresh flowers is unrivaled
- floral fragrance is soothing
Sending flowers is easy with bloomstoday.com, and when you have more time, you can visit and lift the spirits of a shut-in by your presence. Time is the greatest gift of all. Flowers might be second. A few things you can do with a shut-in:
- Play cards or a favorite game [even if they have forgotten some rules]
- Offer to take a shut-in for a drive; stop for ice cream
- Take ice cream and a box of cones to make at home
- Open a laptop with Google Earth and go to their childhood neighborhood
- Read a short story or Bible verses; sing songs
- Hold their hand; human touch is uplifting
- Express personal attributes you admire
- Make a note in your smartphone calendar to send flowers
Enjoy summer days and warm nights to the max, while remembering those who cannot get out by sending gorgeous arrangements, visiting, calling, touching, sharing memories. Let the warmth of the season’s air outside expand the warmth in your heart for people inside. Remember the shut-ins all summer long.
By Joanne M. Anderson