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  • Writer's pictureKristie Sharp Williams

Gloves and Masks, Again

We are not new to self-quarantine. We’ve worn masks, wiped things down, carried around hand sanitizer, worn gloves, stripped off our clothes in the garage many times before. And, even if we weren’t exactly doing those things, I was always aware of who was germy around us. It is weird to see so many other people being so careful. I’m not used to people being mindful of how close they stand to me or walk around me. I’m not used to other people wiping down the shopping buggy. Years ago, I was in Publix wiping down my buggy and a man said, “It won’t hurt ya.” I said, “No, it won’t hurt me, but it might hurt my 9-year-old that is on chemo right now if I bring it home to him.” He just huffed and walked away.

Some of you that have followed from the beginning might remember a story about when Eli was at St. Jude and a nurse touched the bottom of his shoe. He wore some light-up shoes, pretty flashy-looking, and as you will remember he was a pretty quiet little guy. Rarely did he even acknowledge another person, even if that person was talking to him. We were in the “medicine room” for something and the nurse walked in followed by another nurse training. Any employees walking in the room make sure that you see them clean their hands when they walk in the room, and that is on purpose. These nurses did so. The first nurse, the one actually attending Eli, cleaned her hands, and then put on fresh gloves to begin attending to him. She was not talkative, busy, doing her thing. The shadowing nurse cleaned her hands and put on fresh gloves. She was talkative and seemed a little determined to get Eli to speak or respond in some way to her perkiness. Well, we all know how Eli responds to perky. He ignored her. Then it was a bit of a challenge to her. She sat down at the end of the bed, and said, “ooh, I love your shoes, do they light up?” And, she took her gloved hand and taped the bottom of his shoe to make them light up. I froze. I didn’t say anything, but did not take my eyes off her hands and what she would do next. Thankfully, she didn’t do anything but try to talk to him and they each threw the gloves out as they left.

When Eli was going through his second treatment, Mom had moved to the assisted living facility. Caleb was 4 or 5 and had gotten sick with some kind of viral something. So, Vic fell on the sword (he could work from home while they were quarantine more easily than he could drive the others around to all of their different activities. Don't worry, I had my times.)

and took him to stay at mom’s townhouse while it was empty. Caleb was sick for many days and we would go talk to him through the glass door. I took him toys and he would show me through the door what he was making. Eventually, Hg got sick and we moved her to the townhouse. Caleb was so happy to have someone else come. Then eventually, he got well and came home. Then Vic got sick with it. Then Hg came home, and Vic was the last to leave. Caleb did not like Vic being over there without him. Eli, Abbey, and I never had it that time. This actually happened several times with different ones of the kids and I’m not sure that Eli was ever sick because of one of the kids. He got the flu from me when he and I went to MD Anderson, but that’s the most of what I remember about extra, routine illness during those times. We have become somewhat lax with the germaphobic antics since Eli’s been gone, but it hasn’t been hard to resume.

I hope that all of you are safe and taking precautions to stay safe. Even though we are all home right now, we are each extremely busy. All the kids have a pretty good amount of school work, and I have school work as well. Vic is working from home, so it’s a full house. Too many people getting into my business during the day. We hope that the car show will happen May 16th 9-2 at Bethel Church of Christ, so put that on your tentative calendar.


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