Sunday, March 1, 2009

When I "Get" to Help

Last week I wrote about accepting help and today I'd like to share what a blessing it is to me when I get to help others.

I simply love encouraging other people. It comes through when I am speaking about some topic or especially sharing my life story, singing with all my heart, or just listening to someone's problems.

It also happens when I "peer counsel" someone with MS. I was in the first training class for certified peer counselors in the Denver area in 1984. What a privilege to share the hope and even simple steps to take that can begin making life with multiple sclerosis better, fuller, and more of a daily adventure than a grind. (Which it certainly can be!)

But this past December I got to help our neighbors. In our part of the US it began snowing on December 18 and didn't stop for ten days. Now, we didn't get many feet of snow like the Midwest does, but for our elderly neighbors across the street it was dangerous. The snowfall that covered the drive and sidewalks and street was enough to keep them home bound. It wasn't safe for them to walk to the mailboxes.

When I first called Maxine we chatted about the beautiful white mantle draping everything while it floated from the sky and then I offered Ray's help in getting the mail. This began a daily routine of my calling to see what they needed and Ray getting the privilege of following through. Yes, I would have been delighted to walk in the snow to the mailbox and even clean off their driveway with Ray, but at least I could do this one thing--call and chat and be the go-between.

Maxine and Keith were certainly grateful, but Ray and I commented on Christmas that helping them had made the holiday even more special for us. Our girls and grandchildren live out of state and we had visited at Thanksgiving so we were alone. Our hearts swelled with joy at being able to assist as well as lighten their days with laughter and conversation.

We "got to" help and so I know how my friends must feel when they "get to" help me.
Next week I have the opposite outlook . . .

To finding someone each of us can help this coming week no matter our circumstances!