The holidays can be a time of fun and joy, but they can also be a time when folks struggling feel even sadder and more alone. But a mysterious card signed by a woman named “Leigh” and addressed to a depressed grandmother did a lot to help the senior’s mood—and shows us the power of reaching out to people who need some light in their lives.
“To the lady who waves and smiles, with Christmas wishes,” read the card. “It’s nice to see you smile and wave when I walk past your house. Please accept my small token gift to give you another reason to smile.” Included in the note was a gift card for UK grocery Sainsbury’s. It was signed “Leigh”—but no one knows who Leigh is.
My Nan is disabled & has dementia. She sits in her chair by the window all day, every day - just looking outside & normally feeling lonely as we all work during the day. When we went to see her today, someone had posted this through the letter box 😭 Merry Christmas, Leigh ❤️ pic.twitter.com/lyzqHMr1xd— Melly (@MellyMaestro) December 22, 2019
The senior citizen who received the uplifting card has a granddaughter named Melly, who explained in a now viral tweet that her grandmother suffers from dementia and depression and is also disabled. Every day, the grandmother sits in the window at her home in Durham, England and waves at people walking by.
“My Nan is disabled and has dementia,” wrote Melly in the tweet. “She sits in her chair by the window all day, every day—just looking outside and normally feeling lonely as we all work during the day. When we went to see her today, someone had posted this through the letter box.”
Since publishing the story to Twitter earlier this week, folks have also been sending Melly pictures of their pets, since Melly mentioned how much her grandmother loves animals.
My two one-eyed cats wish your Nan a wonderful Christmas 🎄✨ pic.twitter.com/cRyzl3ZyeU
— Hannah Sierp (@stop_hannahtime) December 22, 2019
“She’s been so depressed recently. I can’t put into words how much this has picked her up!” Melly wrote in several followup posts. “She’s barely eaten for weeks because she’s been so down and I’ve just made her a sandwich and she’s happily chomping away. I could burst.”
Lauren, she’s so delighted. 2 days ago she said she wished she was dead and today she’s so happy and keeps asking us to read the message out loud 🥰🥰
— Melly (@MellyMaestro) December 22, 2019
Melly’s grandmother’s story reminds us that folks with dementia can find joy in the most unexpected of places. The Alzheimer’s Society shared Melly’s grandmother’s story and urged people to take action over the holidays to “help people with dementia feel less isolated.”
This is absolutely brilliant - can we get more people taking action like this over Christmas to help people with dementia feel less isolated?— Alzheimer's Society (@alzheimerssoc) December 23, 2019
Thank you so much to Leigh for his kindness and concern! ❤️❤️ https://t.co/AUMECqL9ok
“Can’t wait to tell Nan how many people have wished her well and show her all the gorgeous pups and cats you’ve shared,” Melly wrote. “We’re all buzzing that you’ve enjoyed Leigh’s kindness as much as we have and I hope she gets to find out, too.”