Every single time I look at the news headlines, they're doom and gloom. There's a pandemic. Social unrest. A heat wave coming. New strains of old viruses that could be the next pandemic. It's exhausting and it takes a toll on your mental well being after a while.

In the midst of all of this, my wife and I celebrated the birth of our son. He's perfect. Just as every newborn is.

It's been a couple of weeks, which is why were surprised to get a letter from the hospital that wasn't a bill.

They sent us a card. A simple card, that meant the world to us.

Cards saying "thanks for your business" aren't anything new. Majority of businesses that want to keep getting your business send one. What set this one apart, was everything it represented.

Charlie Hardin

Every one at the hospital took excellent care of all three of us. My wife never felt like she was just "another patient." The staff took a moment or two every time they came in after our son was born to talk about how cute he is, or point out some of his "adorable" features.

So for those three days, in our room, the pandemic didn't matter.

That was what stuck with me the most. Outside of our room, it was back to wearing masks. Temperatures were checked if you left and came back.

But in our room, it was just us and the baby. We were made to feel at home, and comfortable. Even in the cafeteria, people were congratulating me and asking me about the baby while they got my order ready.

Then, after the dust had settled and we were back home, we got a card saying thanks. It was signed by some of the people who looked after us, with our son's footprints on the card.

The simple things matter more than ever right now. Simple gestures of love, appreciation, gratitude, and affection seem to do more good for the soul than before.

I doubt any of them ever see me again, but I hope every nurse, doctor, cook, barista, and faculty member we met knows that in the middle of a crazy year they made me smile.

Thank you, to everyone at Northwest Texas Healthcare System. You helped me have something good to look back on in 2020.