Thursday, April 2, 2020

Joyful Stuff in Trying Times

I am sharing my post here today, because every time I go back to edit something on that page today it loses one of my embedded things, and this last time it looked like it was going to delete the MrLinky I'm staying put right here. Ha! In isolation!

One of the greatest joys of this time in self-quarantine has been the time to reconnect to God. And I count the self-quarantine time as starting Jan. 9  My "isolation" felt like it started the day I fell down the stairs and broke things that needed putting back together. It's the day I began regaining my joy. Life slowed down. It was painful and lonely. At rehab I'd kept asking to go outside even for a minute, but no one was available to help me get there and they kept telling me it was too cold. "yes, I know you are from Maine, but this is cold even for you." I'm sorry, how do they know that??? Me who stood outside at bus duty at 0 degrees and lower in Wisconsin winters?? And I wouldn't be out there long. One person even asked if I had a coat, and I smiled and said YES! But then they turned around and it was over. No trip outside. Everyone was busy and I couldn't do it alone. I looked out the window again. Pieces of joy shattered around me.

When those moments happened, I tried to scrape up some of the pieces and move on to others and their needs. I met some wonderful people going through rehab, and many of them were discouraged and lonely. I began reaching out to patients there to see if I could help with their joy, and it helped my own joy to grow.
There's joy in helping others through difficult times even when you yourself are going through difficulty.

When I finally got home with my daughter and grandchildren, I had a bed in the living room downstairs. There were very quiet times with the cat when everyone was gone. But the times they were there, I got great joy from the talks, the fashion shows, the Lego spaceships, the Sunday devotionals my 8 year old grandson would read to me from his book.
Oh, there's so much joy being a part of other's lives.

Then just as I was able to use a walker and could set the wheelchair and scooter aside...COVID19 struck. Because my upstairs in-law apartment had been vacant for 2+ months, it was a good place to try to get to and stay put. So with cane in hand and sturdy railing and daughter to help, I got up those dreaded stairs. I would not be coming down anytime soon. But I made it up there again finally.
There is joy in doing difficult things.

Up here, I began my own PT. I used the walker, progressed to just cane, and then the cane only half a day...and then decided I could go downstairs to take a walk outside - distancing of course. There's joy. I found some. There was a breeze and sun, and it was almost too warm for the coat. I didn't go anywhere. The stairs had been enough to do.
So now you know -

There's joy in a breeze,
joy in the sun;
joy in the living
each moment begun.

Joy's found in rain
it's pattering voice
tells you to listen -
you're given the choice.

There's hope to be found
keep faith not despair
re-open your heart
He'll place the joy there.

by Donna JT Smith, 4/2/2020

 *This is not the post I started. Not the poem. Everything is different. I had different things that have given me joy in my time upstairs...but I guess this is the one I was supposed to write. Let's see if it saves...

**Click on the link or use the URL, if you would like to see a VERY encouraging informative video done by a NY doctor who is up close and personal with COVID19 every day watch this.  It is long, so have your coffee or tea beside you.  You will want to watch it.  It will give you much hope and insight!
I would embed it, but that hasn't gone well for me lately!


  1. Hi Donna: Thank you so much for this post... I have been feeling down myself, and when I consider what you have been through I see that I have little to feel down about. You have been my joy today, and I thank you wholeheartedly! Blessings for your days ahead. Please visit me at:

  2. Such an expression of your heart and times. Thanks for the poem. Even if it wasn't the one you started, it's perfect. Hoping you get outside more and more. My walks save me from the grouchies and the grumpies.

  3. I know this isn't the post you meant for it to be, Donna, but it is so moving, co celebratory of all the gifts we've been given. I believe, too, that this is a time of spiritual reconnection, specially as it coincides with Lent. I am grateful for this gift and the deep joy despite circumstances. Incidentally, I fell in February and broke my foot, which has been healing during this time ... another mysterious connection, Donna! Here's to being able to enjoy creation as well as the Creator.

  4. Donna, your post gives me some joyful stuff to read so thank you. Your fall and rehab have certainly prepared you for the self-quarantine days. But your joyful poem has given hope to find the joy in everything we do. I am trying to turn around the loneliness, isolation, and fear here on Long Island that surrounds me. Writing is an escape that I am most thankful for. I have decided during this trying time to bring joy to others through the beauty of nature and poetry. I ask that everyone considers joining me in bring a new gallery of artistic expressions to the public eye. Now that there is more time to be creative, I invite you to my writing table. Please see my invitation at With all of your talents, I would love to showcase your image poems, artistry, poetry and more in this gallery that will surely bring joy to all. During National Poetry Month, I will post blogs with what comes my way. I am even taking photos and creating image poems for friends who are not comfortable with poetic formats. Peace to all and may your day be filled with joy. The sun is shining here today and I count that as a joyful blessing.

  5. Good Morning, Donna. What a heartfelt post. The loneliness of benched from life is harsh. Or, it least it seems harsh from your description. The day you fell down the stairs. Oh, the change and the pain of coming back. I'm so sorry you had to go through that. I'm encouraged that you were able to find joy moments along the way. And, I'm encouraged that you are able to distill the experience into poetry. That is a joy I get to take and keep from you.

  6. I am joining late not because of internet or blogging failure, but because there was something I wanted to write, but I needed a space of more than a few minutes to write it. I finally had that space and my post is up.
    Thanks for hosting and sharing your joy journey. I know you must be weary of isolation since yours started long before ours. All my best to you as you continue to find joy. Your poem is lovely.

  7. Thank you, Donna. For hosting, and for this inspiring post and all the places you've found joy. <3


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