Wednesday, March 24, 2010


I am a very independent person. I am not likely to ask for help. I can think back through my life to some instances where I needed help, and though I didn't ask for it, it came:

When I was in college and in a terrible room mate situation, my younger brother wrote me from home: "You can deal with this, I know you can. For you, I have quit biting my nails. I can now pick up pennies and pop zits. If I can quit biting my nails, you can do this."

When my best friend from high school died in a swimming accident in Mexico, a college friend came over to my apartment. She put my two Adirondack chairs side by side on my deck, handed me a beer and a cigarette and said, "Tell me the whole story, start with when you first met."

Four days after my first son was born, after four sleepless nights, my aunt took me up to my room on Christmas Eve and said, "Let me show you how to breast feed."

A few months before my first son was born, we moved into our first house. I was working and had volunteered to give a speech for a Confirmation Class one night. I was uncomfortable and tired in general. When I came home from the speech, my husband and my sister had unpacked and arranged my whole house.

My most recent example has come in the form of a school community. As I have posted, I have started my kids in the Catholic School down the street. The first day went well, but the second, not so much. When I told the office my newest son was refusing to get out of the car, they introduced me to the behavioral specialist. She explained to me what they needed to do, how they would do it, and assured me it would take time, but it would work.

The principal sat down with me to discuss a plan to try and help make the transition as easy as possible.

The school custodian and office administrator helped implement the first step of the plan: getting him out of the car.

The kindergarten teacher was fabulous.

A little girl in his class stepped in at recess to make him feel at ease.

As I write, I can not help but cry knowing I am not alone. That in my life, whether I asked or not, people have stepped in to help. And of course, there have been so many other examples that I did not share. Some are so built into the fabric or our relationship, like my husband and my mother, that they are like the very air I breathe.

I can not thank everyone in my life who has helped me. But my heart is so filled with gratitude, I think it may burst. I pray that I may never miss an opportunity to help others.

May God bless you for helping one of your fellow human beings today.

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