It is hard enough for me to ask for help when I know someone and much harder
when I don’t know a person. Maybe it is the other way around. If you don’t know
someone, they offer help out of the kindness of their heart. If you know the
person, you may feel if you ask, there will be string attached.
I fell crossing the street. As I lay on the concrete drive, “How am I going to
get up?” crossed my mind. As if to an answered prayer, three workers who were
part of the HOA maintenance crew came to my rescue. From my vantage point, all
I could see were work boots. Not only did they help me get up, they offer to
see that I got medical treatment and helped me get in back inside. Where I
lived in the country, I could have lay there for days before anyone noticed
that I needed help. My husband’s hearing is bad and he kept the TV so loud that
he could not hear it thunder much less a cry for help.
I am so thankful for all those good people out there who get involved and help
with no other agenda. People are good and if you give them a chance… be amazed
at what happens. My hardest problem is asking for help. I want to be considered
independent. Guess my fall showed me that I am vulnerable and need assistance
at times. Why am I so afraid to ask for help has crossed my mind? All my life I
have been told to work. OK but what has that to do with asking for help? Dad
just told us to do things without showing us how. We figured it out on our own.
Asking for help is a sign of weakness. I discovered that it is more than that.
It shows that we need each other and when you can help, kudos to both of you
What I remember most about
Thanksgiving is the drive. I remember my mom getting up early to pack to the
car and make egg sandwiches. I remember leaving our house in the pale, cold
morning light with air cold enough I could see my breath. I remember the chill
of the vinyl bench seat of our station wagon and how difficult it was to get
comfortable in that old car. I remember first fighting with my brother for the
privilege of sitting in the front seat, then, as we got older, fighting with
him for complete control of the backseat.
From our home in Leesville to my
grandparents’ house in Arkansas,
we were in for a least an eight-hour haul, and that’s if we didn’t stop to
visit my father or his siblings along the way. The drive included a mandatory
bathroom stop at the McDonald’s in Mansfield, a
stop for gas in Hope, Arkansas, and a couple of other pee breaks
along the way. We always filled up with gas before getting off the interstate
onto the rural highway to Memaw and Poppy’s house. I remember wishing we could
stop in and see Mr. Cryer at his little convenience store/gas station in Springfield as we passed
through, but it was always too late at night for that. But I knew I could
always con my grandfather into taking me down there to say hi and that Mr.
Cryer (or “Chicken” as everyone called him) would always remember me. What I
remember most of the drive is how long it used to take us to get to our
destination and how the return trip seemed to go so much faster.
I don’t have any memories of a Norman Rockwell family
gathering at Thanksgiving. Often,
it was a small gathering with little pomp and no circumstance. My grandmother
didn’t cook very well, and my aunt and uncles were always off doing something
else in another state or country. At the time I never understood why they
didn’t come home more often, but as I’ve grown and had opportunity to see my
family through adult eyes, I now understand. There was a sadness in the
homecoming. My grandmother began to wither away slowly with each successive
stroke so that it became hard to want to make the trip just to witness her
deterioration. Then finally, she was no longer there to bake biscuits and make
chocolate gravy on the cold November mornings. That’s when the thankfulness in
my family seemed to die.
For years, I lamented the solemnity
of my family’s Thanksgivings. When I got to college, I just avoided it
altogether and refused to come home. In fact I just began avoiding my family.
It was hard to go home when all the old hurts and haunts were still there. I
couldn’t pretend things were like they used to be. It wasn’t the same. Others
in my family felt it, too. No one wanted to drive in to spend a couple of days
of wallowing in depression.
Then a funny thing happened when I
was living on my own in San Antonio
a few years ago. I figured out I couldn’t bring the dead back. I thought about
it and concluded it didn’t really matter whether or not I had a big, shiny
turkey I baked in the middle of a table surrounded by twenty guests. I also
finally decided my ever-shrinking family would never be in the same place at
the same time. So with only my mother and step-father willing or able to travel
to celebrate with me, I made reservations for three at the Westin La Cantera
Hotel and Resort on the edge of the Texas Hill Country. We feasted like kings
on baked and fried turkey, prime rib, glazed ham, 30 different types of
dressings and other side dishes, and an entire banquet table full of pumpkin,
cherry, and other kinds of pie. I remember there were even pilgrims and Indians
walking around. Everyone wore their smiles along with their “Sunday best.” I
remember all of us chatting with the strangers around us then walking outside
to the veranda to take in the view.
But I remember the drive home most of
all. I remember counting my blessings and thanking God for the family I had
left. I remember thanking Him for the cold after such a hot south Texas summer. I remember
giving thanks for what I had and not grieving over what I did not. But mostly,
I remember how much longer the trip to the hotel took than the trip home.
You are a
child of God. He says that you are wondrously made.
Do you spend so much of
your time with activities that you no
longer here that small voice talking to
A child has no problem being still
and listening to God.
Have you seen a child squat down and watch a beetle make
its’ way through the dust?Can you find
a quiet spot in your
day to listen to your inner self?
You can do a few things to
change the way you look on the outside.
Sit up straight, lift your head up, and
What? I don’t like me. How can you say that? If you liked you,
you would take
care of yourself. When I looked in that mirror,
I discovered that I didn’t like
what I saw. Who could that person be?
Was it really me? Then one day I had an
epiphany, I didn’t love me because when you love something you take care of it.
I certainly had not taken care of that reflection in the mirror.
The more you
rush the less time you have to listen to that small voice inside. Some say it’s
a conscience trying to tell you something. If we stay real busy, then, we don’t
have to listen. What if it’s God trying to give you directions for a happy
life?Always rushing, what’s wrong with just
you rushing around here and there doing activities that fills your time?
stairs to take you somewhere or get you away from something?
How big a step can you take out in
faith? It isn’t easy to do. It may be something as little as meeting your new
neighbor or as big as putting yourself out there and volunteering. I have been
told that if God brings you too it, He will help you get through it. The
results are not always cut and dried so be open to what befalls you as you take
that first step realize that there will be more to come.
You get in a rut and things seem out of kilter, what do
Me, I usually moan and groan about things not being right. I start feeling
sorry for myself
and it creates a cycle that is hard to break. I know I have a
legitimate excuse when I say I hurt
but that is self-pity at its finest. Break
the cycle and share with others who are struggling to get out from under. Hard
but that is why you have those who can help. It’s
not pain just and unfinished project or a task that seems daunting,
take it a
bit at a time or let someone else do it. Give yourself a break and admit that
you need more time or a little
Life is grand live it to the fullest even if it takes some help to get