Sometimes, there can be much joy in helping someone else…and since my own prompt at CafeWriting for May and June called on me to list seven ways I’ve helped another person, I thought I’d get this down for those times when I’m feeling useless and stupid.
- My Mother: She went back to school in her thirties, and I used to help her by editing her essays, and suggesting stronger word choices. Later, when she had to learn a 100-page flip-chart presentation, I helped her with that as well. I think I can still recite it in my sleep. And she helped me, and continues to help me, all through my life.
- Various friends, and Fuzzy: I’ve helped them re-write or tweak their resumes. They’ve helped in return by critiquing my work.
- My grandmother: While I never learned to knit, I helped straighten her knitting bag, untangling yarn, and matching pairs of needles, more than once. She helped me by teaching me that a gift of the hand is a gift of the heart.
- My friend J. in Colorado: I held her hand when she came out, answered her three AM calls when she first began dating women, and stood by when one of her relationships became abusive. She returned the favor, letting me agonize about Fuzzy, answering MY three AM calls, and always offering a safe haven when I needed to escape.
- My friend G who sometimes drops in here. We helped each other survive high school, which sounds petty but really isn’t.
- Zorro Dog: He isn’t a person, in the literal sense, but he means the world to me, and we gave him a home and love, and in his name, we’ve driven partial journeys to help other small dogs find their “forever homes” as well.
- My grandfather: I baked bread, went fishing, and gardened with him. He helped me with everything from the concept of leverage to understanding negative numbers.
Of course, I’ve also taken friends to lunch, helped them move, sent letters to soldiers overseas, and any number of other supportive things, all of which have been returned many times over.
It’s just…nice to remember, sometimes.