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We Are All Essential | #AllThingsHD

April 3rd, 2020
Posted in #LIFEINHD

I used to work in home health care & my husband worked at a grocery store. We both had what would have been considered essential jobs according the pandemic we are in currently, although I still consider parenting for anyone in this time essential, because it is.

I’ve been thinking about and praying for the many people who have not been afforded to work remotely (from home), or who have no choice but to work and I can sympathize with them and empathize in some ways as well. My heart goes out to everyone during this time, and I am thankful for everyone who is still working, However my heart has such a space for the doctors and nurses who are up front in this fight against covid-19. Can you actually imagine what they are up against? And how they find the strength daily to suit up? They risk their lives to help others and many without proper protection for themselves. If that isn’t selfless, I don’t know what is. You can’t tell me there isn’t good in humanity when you think about selfless people like this.

Working in home health care, I have witnessed things I could have never been prepared for, learned selflessness in a completely different way, and had some of the best interactions of my adult life. You see, it isn’t only about the work you’re doing, but the relationships and what you take away from the experiences. While obtaining my masters degree in Early Childhood Education, I dedicated 40 plus hours of my week to work in homes caring for elderly people. I did everything from cleaning & running errands, to changing diapers, carrying patients to and from the bathroom, showering them and feeding them. I was a companion, a prayer partner but also a caregiver.

I was tested when I saw people whom I’ve spent a great deal of time with deteriorating before my eyes, transitioning from overall good health to hospice and then being called home. I was there by their side, emptying catheters, doing what was asked of me to help keep them comfortable. It was not only humbling, but extremely emotional, even when dealing with patients who didn’t like me because the color of my skin. There was one woman in particular who disliked me from the moment I walked in the door. Her children told me she could be a challenge, but I didn’t know just how much. She had dementia & spent a good portion of the day muttering. But there were clear moments where she’d speak a racial slur at me, or spit at me. Those days I wanted to quit, but I still would carry her (extremely difficult to spot a heavier person with no assistance) to the bathroom, clean her, adjust her glasses and look after her.

My most fond memories are with a little Austrian man named Hanz who lived out on a farm in the middle of nowhere. He had little squinty blue eyes, an amazing smile, the best accent and probably only stood of 5’2” but had the biggest personality. Although I was there to take care of him, he’d often look after me. On the night shift I’d hear him shuffling around; He would always walk up to me curled up on the couch and pat my head gently before returning to his room. During the day he’d challenge me to ride the bike with him. He was in his 80’s but he was locked in. I’d ride the stationary bike for 5 miles, then he would ride 5 miles…back and forth.

Often times we’d go out to do farm chores. Now, this was an experience. We’d walk out to the fields and feed the horses, then walk across and down the road to check on the cows. We’d stroll the gravel country roads for fresh air and just take it all in. After we’d finish outside work it shower time, then as always, dinner. I knew when he got this smirk on his face and gleam in his eye he wanted to go out for pizza. so So sometimes we would load up the car and drive into town for pizza at his favorite diner. Other nights I’d cook, and he would always ask “Perhaps some chocolate?!!” Before heading up to bed. He’d tell me stories. He would ask me questions. He would talk about Austria, music, his family, my college courses; he was hands down one of my best friends.

Fast forward to the end of the 2010 summer. Hanz began to really struggle with his dementia. We had charts up with our pictures so he could remember us ( he never forgot me). We had to be even more alert because he liked to wonder out the house onto the farm late at night, his moods changed more, and just like that, he began to slip away. When he passed away, I was so hurt. That was the end of my home healthcare days. I was tired of growing close to people and seeing them leave, although I felt so blessed to spend time with them and I believe make their last months, days, weeks on earth more enjoyable.

Circling back to the doctors and nurses who are upfront with covid-19, I can’t help but think about the emotional trauma they are enduring… Working around the clock…. To know that there isn’t enough staff, equipment, tests or medicine to save everyone… to know without a doubt thousands are going to die alone, and to have the next patient who needs a ventilator replace the spot where someone was battling for their lives. What I experienced first hand in health care was vastly different yet challenging. Even still trying to put myself in their shoes is hard. Like most, I try not to think about it, or focus on it. They don’t have that luxury though. They have to show up, get dressed and keep working… Praying they don’t get sick, and if or when they do, then they are in the same position as the ones they’ve been caring for. Most people don’t spend time earning a degree just for money, especially in the medical field. People choose to work in the medical arena because they are passionate about helping others, they have big hearts, they want to make a difference, they want to give back, they want to create a lasting impact and for their patients to feel good… To have a second chance, to be restored, to be healed. I know that’s why I wanted to work in home health care; it was a way for me to give back.

It just all hurts my heart, which is why faith and prayer are my anchors through all of this. When I feel overwhelmed, or anxious, I pray. When I see the media about Covid-19, I pray. When I think about all the essential workers, I pray. When I think about those battling the virus and many who are losing their lives, I pray. I pray when things are tough, when things are good and everything in between. Prayer is my sanctuary and battle against this crazy time we live in.

I wake up daily blessed to be able to be at home with my kids. I don’t take that for granted. And despite all the negative happening around me, I have also been able to focus on the good that is happening in the world, right here in my community, and right here in my home. I know this is a rollercoaster of events and emotions for everyone. I truly believe we are all doing the best we can & I don’t want to dismiss the challenges we are all facing. Not being an essential worker does not mean there are no challenges, no risks, no grief or even loss. In fact, for many of us, Covid-19 has a face. It has changed our routine, it has disrupted our “normal,” it has wreaked havoc and fear and no one is immune to it. We have all experienced change. We are all essential, valuable, loved, in need of compassion and we are all in this together.

With that being said, seeing people come together has been the most beautiful part of all of this. Even in chaos & fear, there is a calmness and peace present when seeds are planted and watered that help heal and bring our communities together. Please enjoy this caption shared from my recent Instagram post below.

𝓗𝓮’𝓼 𝓰𝓸𝓽 𝓽𝓱𝓮 𝔀𝓱𝓸𝓵𝓮 𝔀𝓸𝓻𝓵𝓭 𝓲𝓷 𝓗𝓲𝓼 𝓱𝓪𝓷𝓭𝓼 🖤 I am PRAYING for everyone during this pandemic. I just want to remind you all that GOD is good even when life is hard/challenging. I pray you all continue to see the good, continue doing good, love others and love yourself. Yes, there is so much that is out of our control. There are a lot of unknowns. There is a lot of grief. There is a lot of worry. There is a lot of fear. But, there is always a silver lining: I’ve seen so many people pull together to help out in their communities. I’ve seen people checking on their loved ones. I’ve witnessed countless good deeds; meals donated, money raised, equipment for hospitals being donated, people sewing masks and donating them, people sharing resources for families in need or to help assist in homeschooling. I’ve seen many testimonies and shared acts of faith and prayer. I’ve seen people healed. I’ve seen people find their way to GOD when they were once atheist. I’ve seen countries joining forces with other countries to help fight the pandemic. I’ve seen people sharing information to try and bring awareness to others. I’ve seen people finally start tapping into businesses, goals, talents and gifts they’ve been too scared to pursue. I’ve seen people struggling but not giving up. I’ve seen people making others laugh and finding ways to bring joy and smiles to others faces. I’ve seen everyone adjusting to a new “normal,” in the face of adversity and I believe there are more good people in the world than selfish ones who have yet to understand the severity of what is happening.


I wanted to join Tyler Perry’s challenge to help share some love and light to anyone who may need it on today! Please feel free to pass it on if it it inspired you.

Thank you for being here. Thank you for being you. I love you all! Keep pushing and let’s come back strong from this; we are better together. We are all essential.



‪14 If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.‬

‪2 Chronicles 7:14 ‬

Instagram/ Twitter: @heavendaniels

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