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Aloe is a healing succulent. You may have seen its deep green, spiny leaves, thick with a clear gel that soothes cuts, sunburn, and other wounds to the skin. I planted aloe when I had small children, who needed it on a regular basis. During summer I kept a leaf in the refrigerator, so I would have some cool gel on hand. Now that the plant has grown large and is in a good spot, I found out that it blooms.

This burst of red is the bloom from just one stalk, and another stalk is already budding up. I think of these lovely flowers as advertisements, billboards that declare: Use aloe to soothe wounds and promote healing. Recommended by others whose wounds have been mended.

Virtual hugs from the Bossy Spa are my way of putting some aloe in your refrigerator. It is a way to be sure you have something on hand for times when something hurts you. Aloe can’t help much if you have been run over by an eighteen wheeler, but it can make a big difference for small hurts.

Small hurts are the ones that are fixable. There are tiny, practical adjustments you can make to improve your life, to fix the hangnail on your thumb, and pull that splinter in your knee. It’s worth making those practical changes, but the caregiver life has more trouble than just the observable stresses. It has deep wells of grief and small puddles of sorrow.

Sending you a hug today, like a handkerchief to mop up the small puddles. Not much to do about the big stuff, but if your deep sorrows leak out a little every day, we can mop them up one puddle at a time.

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