Guns a blazing, here they come!! This weekend it felt like the Calvary came to my rescue. “I need help” seems like the most basic statement but it gets complicated and messy when we are chronically ill for years. It gets more complicated when we do not physically look like we are ill. So when help does come, it feels like the Calvary. This weekend was a glorious victory for human kindness.
It really did feel like the Calvary made a plan, mounted up and came in for the attack, in a good sense. When my heart is not working properly, I simply cannot do much physically. My house and yard suffer. The neighbors might say they suffer more having to look at my unkept yard. I finally had to get to a point where I cannot afford to care what anyone else thinks, my heart has to be the priority.
This is when having a long-term friend comes in handy. Long-term friends know us better than most people. They know when we are at our limits. They care enough to step in and “get-r-done.” My dear friend made a plan, she recruited her husband, her grown daughter and her in-laws and they mounted up. They drove over 2 hours one way to get to me. They gave up a full Sunday just to care for me. This girlfriend is disabled so she really had no business being the one to step up and help me.
When they showed up it looked like the entire Calvary arrived. Swords, saws, mops and trash bags in hand. It looked like an attack. They just got on it and took care of the task at hand. Each one swift and mighty in their own way.
My friend’s 3-year-old grandson came with them. He gave me something special that I hope I never forget. He rearranged my marbles. Yes, my marbles. I have three glass lanterns with a bunch of marbles at the bottom of each. He very carefully took the marbles out and put them in what he considered the correct lantern. He did it all on his own with no guidance. When he was done, his diligent mother asked me if she needed to sort out the “mess.” Absolutely not!!!
In the craziness of chronic illness and the brain of a “Lymie,” I needed all of my marbles rearranged just how this child perceived it needed to be. The perception of a child reminded me that some things just need stirring up and moved around. My marbles certainly needed to be rearranged and my heart needed the joy and peace this Calvary brought into my home this weekend.
I needed help and they served me well. This has been a long five years of this particular health crash. I have learned much about “need” and “want” and learned that I am capable of doing without far more than I ever realized. I have had to dig deeper within than I thought was humanly possible. I have not been able to meet all of my “needs” and have had to learn more about acceptance and forgiveness. The lessons have made this a valuable journey.
Knowing that I am at the end of this chronic illness brings so much expectation for my life to come. I am looking forward to a body that is capable of cooperating more so that I can physically take care of myself, my house and my yard. I am so close.
Having the Calvary rescue me this weekend reminded me that there is still kindness out there. I could not have enjoyed those hours more with four generations of a family that flowed with servitude and kindness. They each gave in their own unique way and will always be remembered for this act of love. The laughter was icing on the cake.
As a chronically ill person, you know that it is hard to swallow your pride and ask for help. Then as the years go by and the needs pile up, it gets harder to even explain how much help you still need. Others rarely understand unless they have been through it themselves.
This is where you can reduce your stress and your trauma-load. Forgive others who do not understand and do not help.
We have no control over others but we do have control over saying yes any time anyone offers to help us with anything. Swallow your pride, I had to. It stinks, get over it. We need help, tons of it. Be grateful when you get it and never forget it because those are the people of character that make the world a better place.
I continue to be amazed at the twists and turns that chronic illness present. Gratitude for the moments of kindness and help can relieve some of the sting of this journey.
Are you allowing others to help you? If you have no one to help you, are you finding acceptance and forgiveness?
Maribeth Baxter, MBEC
Donations are accepted to serve others on their chronic illness journey. Maribeth Baxter, MBEC provides voluntary certified health coaching services to the financially limited during their time of crisis.