A few weeks ago, right before school started, my best friend’s oldest son got really sick. He somehow contracted a very serious staph infection in his lower back. He had three surgeries, was in the hospital for 8 days, had a PICC line put in that delivered antibiotics and lost 20 pounds. He’s still not able to walk and on antibiotics. But, thank God, he’s improving and getting better every day. He will heal and be ok. But, damn, it was scary.
During those 8 days and after, watching my best friend, my sister-soulmate, watch her son suffer and feel helpless, all I wanted to do was help her and her family. I would have done anything on earth to help them. I learned an important lesson. Sometimes, when someone you love needs help, it feels so good to be able to help them. I have a really hard time asking for and receiving help. I don’t ever want anyone to think I’m weak or that I can’t handle something. But, in the past few weeks, I’ve only wanted to help Amy as much as I can. When I couldn’t help her, I felt helpless and terrible too. Helping her let her know that I love her, I love her son, I love her family and let them know I was there for them. I didn’t help her because she was weak, I helped her because I love her and her family.
I realized that, when people offer to help, it’s not because they think you’re weak, it’s because they love you and they want to show you that love by helping. My Mom is one of my biggest helpers, and I always feel bad when I ask her for help, but this whole situation has helped me realize that it’s important for her too to be able to help me. She can show me love. When I do something helpful for Matt or the kids or my friends or coworkers, it’s not because I think they can’t do it, it’s because I love them and I want to show them that through helping them.
It was really an eye-opening experience for me. I think, if you’re like me and hate asking for and receiving help, it may be a good lesson for all of us. Needing help, asking for help and receiving help doesn’t mean there’s anything wrong with you. It means you are surrounded by people who truly love you. And that means that you are a very lucky person indeed.