It has been a long 12 months. I don’t think anyone would disagree with me. On Wednesday night however I got to make a small contribution toward the future and solution. While I spend the majority of my shifts at Longmont United I do a few shifts each month at the free standing ER/Urgent Care off Hwy 52 and I-25 called Indian Peaks. A couple of months ago they started doing COVID vaccine clinics and I teared up watching the 70+ hobble their way into the building to get their shots and got to hear them exclaim “it’s just like Christmas”. A couple of weeks ago the clinic upstairs from the ER/Urgent Care were doing vaccines for the teachers and that also made me tear up watching them all line up to get their shots so they could be protected to give all our students the education that they need (I did crack up quite a bit that day that I was working and finding all the teachers wandering around the outside of the building lost because none of them would read the signs on the doors….did seem rather ironic). Today was extra special however because of the way the schedule fell I got to be the one working when my parents and grandfather came in for their second COVID vaccine and got the honor of giving them their shot. I have worked hard the past year to make sure that I didn’t bring COVID home from the ER to my family or my parents and so it meant a lot to be able to give them their shots. I think with each shot in an arm there is a little extra glimmer of hope and relief. I remember standing in the ER last year as this was all just beginning to start, looking around wondering what the weeks and months ahead would have and who wouldn’t be standing next to me this time this year. And by God’s grace we didn’t loose a single staff member, but that doesn’t mean we left without many scars. The effects of this past year are going to have lasting impressions on each of us for ever. And it also doesn’t mean we are ready to hang up our masks….the battle’s not over, we still have a mountain to climb. I still squeezed a patient’s legs the other day as she was being admitted and wheeled upstairs with the very real understanding that she might not make it outside the hospital again hoping that through that squeeze I conveyed care and concern and offered hope. But today I injected a little hope into the people I love in a very real way and it was an honor to get to do so.