I don’t know if I’ve ever been good at it. I mean, as a kid of course. But as an adult, I’m not so sure.
It’s not that I don’t ask for help because I want to muscle through things on my own; do it my way. No, it’s more that I don’t want to put anyone out; inconvenience, bother, encroach on others’ time and space.
When helpful offers come, I’m swift to douse them in minimizing language and half-truths about how I’m just fine without the support.
No, I’ve got this. It’s just a small thing. You’ve got so much going on already...it's okay...
I mean, that would be great but are you sure? I mean, I don’t want to trouble you…
Oh my gosh thank you so much - but I’m fine.
Am I though?
I took a really hard turn in some really deep snow a few weeks back, in Jackson Hole, and tore my ACL. I’d always been told you hear a pop when the ACL is torn, but I never thought the sound would ring in my ears all these days after the accident. POP! Yes, I can still hear it now if I close my eyes and recall that afternoon.
It happened on the last day of a dreamy week-long get away with Mike. I was whisked down the mountain toboggan-style for an x-ray and followed up with Orthopedic Surgeon assessments back home, an MRI and a handful of PT visits prior to my February 28th surgery.
From the moment I took that turn, I crossed the threshold from able to unable; disabled, albeit temporarily. I’ve relied on crutches to walk, rendering my hands useless to carry things from one place to another. Getting up and down stairs adds a good ten minutes to any car ride. And forget about relaxing showers, when a the fold-up chair I have to sit on makes closing the shower door impossible, so one leg is always stuck outside in the cold.
It has been humbling, to say the very least. It’s also been reminiscent of my grandmother, Dom, who underwent numerous surgeries on her hip and who walked with crutches or a cane her entire adult life. A reminder how fortunate I am to be healthy and strong, and injured for only this short while.
And that I’m truly surrounded by people who want to help.
So I’ve been saying, “yes”. Friends and family have been coming to me in droves -- offering to drive me places, walk the dog, prepare meals, watch my kids, grab groceries, keep me company. And here at home, Mike and the boys prop me up, ice me down and sit with me when I need them to; letting me rest when it’s time for that too.
Accepting help from others has nev
er really been “my thing”, but I’m going to change my ways. Because if there’s one thing this experience has taught me, it’s that we offer one another help out of love and because we mean it. Saying yes to helpful offers fills everyone’s heart -- both the helper and the helpee; the giver and the receiver. Everyone winds up feeling good and whole and supported.
We all need to feel needed sometimes, and whether that’s bringing lunch to a hurt friend or lending her your fanny pack so she can tote her own water bottle around, it all counts. We are a collective after all, and our aliveness comes from sharing our time and our kindness with each other, unabashedly. Just for the sake of it.
So yes, I will receive your generous help and I’ll be grateful for every moment you’ve given to love and support me. I will be here for you whenever you need me.
And thank you.