I’m not very good at accepting help, even though, over the years, I’ve told others that they have to learn to accept help when it’s needed. I’ve told my mom, my mother-in-law and friends that we all do what we can to help others in need and then, when it’s our turn to be the one in need, we must graciously accept the help of those who offer. I’m normally the caregiver, the helper, but now, following surgery and unable to walk for five weeks, I must be the one to accept help – it isn’t easy and I’m not very good at it. However, what I’ve found is that the help is not only very necessary, but when it’s offered, I’m so appreciative – even as I butt my head against the need for assistance. The friend who checks in with me regularly and offers up ways she can help, the neighbor who brought a real homemade dinner for our family, the friend who is doing more than her fair share of carpooling, another friend who has her hands full with her own family’s needs, but still offers her help, my family who constantly checks in with me – “Do you need anything, Mommy?” “What would you like me to bring upstairs for you?” “Do you need fresh water?” “Can I give you a ride for errands?”
I find myself humbled and grateful for these offers of help. It’s not easy accepting, but I’m learning to graciously say, “Yes. Thank you.” And, I’m also learning that those forms of help that I most appreciate are not huge or onerous – the small things really do mean so much and I think that after this experience, I can be an even better caregiver and friend until it is, someday, inevitably my turn to again be the one accepting the help.