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Letting People Help

July 8, 2010

The day after I returned from our vacation, I tripped on the bottom stair and sprained my ankle. It was my right foot, which means no driving. It hurt and it really changed all the plans I had made for our summer.

My Mom, who is so wonderful in every way, offered to come over every day and take care of the boys and me until I heal. The first few days of watching her doing dishes, getting groceries and folding laundry, really put me out. I really appreciated her help, but was struggling with allowing it. I felt guilty. I kept telling her to just play with the boys and leave the rest. She kept shushing me. She was right. I couldn’t do it. I had to hop everywhere I went and I certainly could not do that carrying a thing. It just felt wrong to be able to sit and rest with my foot up playing on the internet, watching a movie, or reading a book while my Mom was doing my chores.

Two weeks later, I’m doing much better and can walk, well hobble really, around. I can carry things and am more useful. I still, however, cannot drive. But over these two weeks, I’ve learned a valuable lesson. I’ve learned to accept help. I was worried my Mom would feel taken advantage of, but now see that she felt good being able to help me. She knows how much I appreciate her and how much I love her, so I didn’t need fear her resentment.

I think in our society we’re raised to be independent and especially, as women, to be the main caretakers of everyone. It’s hard to let go of that and to allow another to take on that role when we cannot. I think there is a fine line there, and yet, it’s a necessary one. I know how great I feel when I can help friends or family in their time of need and how frustrating it is when they turn away help. So, I see now how important it is to put away pride.

I’m really grateful to my sweet Mom for teaching me, yet another, lesson in this life.

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