Letters to local nursing home residents
As much of the country enters its ninth month since the COVID pandemic began, concern is growing for loved ones who reside in nursing homes and long-term care facilities. While visitor restrictions are meant to decrease exposure, questions regarding mental and emotional health are being asked everyday. Nursing homes and long-term care facilities have gotten creative with ways in which families can keep in touch with their loved ones. The use of tablets and video software enable families to see and talk to one another while respecting facility requirements. Also becoming popular, as winter is on its way, is dedicating a small portion of an entryway to families who would like to communicate with each other, but would also like to stay warm.
The First Lutheran Church youth group eighth graders and their leader, Jerry Rhodes Jr., took the time to write letters (including a prayer) to the residents of the Philip Nursing Home as part of a service project.
“Hi, my name is Josie Jones and I am an eighth grader at Philip High School. I enjoy riding my horses, hanging out with my friends, eating Gardettos and jamming out to music in the car with my brother.
My horses names are 8-ball, Champ, Clover, Badger and Mikey. I don’t ride 8-ball and Champ though. Clover is my trick riding horse. I can stand on his saddle, hang on his neck, hang upside down, jump on him and I do yoga on him. Badger is my rodeo horse. I do barrels, poles and rope. Mikey is my cow working horse. He is very good at watching cows and he can predict what they are going to do. He also likes to bite the cows on their butt.
This summer, I broke my ankle. I got bucked off my horse and I completely dislocated and broke it. I had surgery two weeks later and now have 10 screws and one plate in my ankle.
I have two brothers and two sisters. I’m also the youngest so I get spoiled. My three older siblings are in college and my brother Jess is a freshman. I have four pets. Ares, Winnie, Chance and Blacky. Winnie and Chance are dogs and Blacky and Ares are cats. Ares died on Monday though. I want to get another cat in the future sometime. I play basketball, volleyball, track and rodeo.
Dear God, you are awesome, forgiving, trusting and loving. I pray for those healing, grieving, in political jobs and anyone who is struggling. Thank you for the love I get, my family and my safe environment. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Hi, my name is Tukker and I live in Midland. I have a dad, step-dad, mom and two other siblings. My step-dad’s name is Tyler and my mom’s name is Angel. My sister’s name is Emry and she is eight years old. My brother’s name is Ky and he is six years old. We adopted him into our family two years ago, he is an awesome kid and brother. One dream I have is to become a professional football player for the NFL. I like to play video games, play football, do wrestling, track and I also like to ride dirtbikes. Some goals I have are to graduate college, be financially stable, have a family and travel the world. It has been a very weird year and I know you have had a rough year over there. Hopefully it is getting better over there for you guys.
Dear Lord, it has been a tough year for the nursing home residents. Thank you for keeping them safe and getting them the care they need. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
I hope this letter finds you well and you are doing great. I will tell you a little about me and what I like to do. I am a freshman at Philip High School and I have attended Philip the entire time I have been in school. I went to preschool in Midland and that is also where I live. I am the second youngest child and I play football, basketball and track. My dad has his own business that I work for. My mom is the Haakon County Clerk of Courts here in Philip and has been for about four years.
I have four siblings; three sisters and one brother. Jada, the oldest, goes to college at Black Hills State University. Jewel, the second oldest, goes to college at LCCC. My brother Jet is going to become a pilot. Then, Josie, or as I like to call her, JoJo, is an eighth grader and plays a few sports, but she broke her ankle this summer so she can’t play any right now. I am the second youngest child and I play football, basketball and track.
I have been playing football for about six years now and enojy it a lot. Basketball is my favorite sport and I can remember playing with my brother on our mini-hoop since I was about six years old. I have played basketball for about seven years, going around to tournaments in the winter until I got into junior high. Then there is track, I have participated in track for four years and love it, although the last year was a bit weird with the Coronavirus. I am looking forward to it this year though.
Finally, I want to pray that you are feeling well and are happy during these uncertain times. That you are enjoying life and trusting in God to help get us through this mess. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Hi! My name is Colden Kramer. I am a freshman at Philip High School. I enjoy hunting, fishing and driving my ‘79 Chevy. I hope you are doing good during this hard time. I know if we pray and put our faith in God above, he will answer our prayers and our world will reunite under God. I have been keeping you in my prayers and hope the best for you and your family.
Dear nursing home resident,
My name is Josie Menzel and I am a freshman at Philip High School. I enjoy playing sports such as volleyball, basketball and rodeo. I also like staying involved in school activities and community service. Did you play any sports as a kid? My favorite would have to be rodeo because I love animals, being competitive and hanging out with friends while doing something fun. My events are barrels, poles, goats and breakaway. Did you have any animals or pets as a kid?
Some of my favorite things to do in my free time are hang out with my brother, hang out with my friends, ride horses and play volleyball. My biggest dreams is to be rich and famous, probably what we all want, right? Since that dream is a bit far fetched, I would also enjoy working with horses and continuing ranching.
If it isn’t too much trouble, I would like to stay in touch and maybe write letters more often!
I pray that all is well, you all stay healthy and young, and that the Lord watches over you everyday. In Jesus’ name we pray, Amen.
Hi, my name is Eagan Fitzgerald. My favorite thing to do is go out with friends and spotlight. Some sports I play or played are baseball, football, basketball and rodeo. I hope you are reading this in good spirits and are having a wonderful day. I have one sister and a blue heeler border collie cross dog. My sister is in the fifth grade and does band. I live 30 miles northeast of Philip on a ranch. We run 500 head of cow-calf pairs all year round and have a 600 head feedlot in the winter. So, I guess you could say I stay pretty busy most of the time. I pray that you are doing well and are having the most amount of fun you could possibly have, Amen.
Hello my name is Jensen Fitch, I am a student at Philip school. I live on a farm 30 miles north of Philip in a place called Milesville with my family. It is a wonderful place to live because it is in the middle of nowhere, so it’s peaceful. I am an eighth grader who plays sports because they make you a better human being. We have been in school for a couple months now. School is very enjoyable this year. We do lots of homework and extra labs with activities. But how are you supposed to learn and get better at things if you don’t practice. I have also been participating in youth group and football so far this fall. COVID has really not changed my life too terrible much. I have had to wear a mask a couple times and couldn’t see some people because they didn’t want to be around other people. But for the most part I was just at home working. Something interesting about me is that I get to live and work on our family farm and also I have five brothers, three are older than me and two are younger. Things I did this summer was have fun and work hard. We cut a lot of wheat during summer harvest. I helped my neighbors, my dad, grandpa and everybody that I could. I had an extra-long summer, but it felt shorter than it usually does and went by fast. I hope this letter finds you happy and doing well.
Dear God, I am thankful that I know you. Lord, I pray for all those kids out there that don’t have any food or family. Dear Lord, I pray that you can help all the people that are going through rought times right now. Please bring them comfort. In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.
Hello, my name is Kade Fitzgerald. I am 15 years old and I live right here in Philip. I attend Philip High School and I am active in football, basketball, golf, FFA and FCCLA. Where did you attend high school and what were you active in?
Some hobbies I enjoy are fishing, hunting, trapping and anything that involves the outdoors. What hobbies do you enjoy?
Not a lot has changed in this small town, but I am sure that just because I don’t see a change doesn’t mean that it isn’t there.
I am thinking and praying about you and hope that you have a good rest of your day.
Dear God, please help those in need and watch over the people who need a little extra support to get through this, whether it be money, health or anything else. In Jesus’ name we pray, Amen.