from that very nuclear family of two in which I was raised. If you want to extend the reach you need to put yourself out there and build relationships. And I have been blessed in the building.
More recently I was put in a position of being on the other end of the care-giving stick. People were calling, writing, visiting and offering to do something for me. It might be take me to an appointment, to the store, to pick something up for me, to provide me with some food, or even to walk the dog. And initially I had a knee-jerk reaction – “That’s so thoughtful of you, but no, I’m fine.” That’s not to say I did not accept some offers of help – I could not drive myself around at the get-go. But there was a day that I needed some things from the market. Curiously someone I had met recently on a day trip called that morning to see how I was doing and asked if I needed any help. Knee-jerk. After all, I hardly knew this person. I was not going to put a market run with me on her plate. And so I waited. Someone will call today…ask what’s going on…what could they do for me. And as I waited, I argued with myself. Could I drive myself there? In truth I was not yet feeling confident enough to do so. Could I bring myself to call someone who had offered help and ask? I wasn’t sure. And so I frittered away the day until about 3 pm and then called and left a message. “Could you possibly take me to Market Basket either today or tomorrow?” Whew. I had done it. Within a couple of hours the call came in from this person – and I told of my fight with myself for the better part of the day. She reminded me that she likes to help and I needed help so it was good all the way around.
As I reflected on this in the days afterward – and said “yes, I could use some help” when another friend called and I needed to do a couple of errands – I remembered times I helped someone…and how much I enjoyed being able to do so. And I thought back on that theme of relationship in my life – clearly a relationship is not a one way street. It is built on mutuality, give and take, sharing – whether that’s laughter, a ride, a book, or a favor. So if you’re ever in doubt about asking for help, or accepting help when it’s offered, just say ...