Let them Help

The Queen once said: Let Them Eat Cake.

I am far from a queen (though my husband does throw the word “diva” around quite a bit), but I do have three words of advice:

Let Them Help.

Anyone who knows me is probably shocked by my audacity right about now. Me, giving such advice. Me, the one who won’t let anyone help.

Change “won’t” to “wouldn’t”.

A leopard can indeed change its spots – and so can I.

And I have.

I’m not saying it was easy.

But once I saw the wisdom, I thought to myself, “Why didn’t I do this sooner?

The Human Race often gets a bad rap. People lament that no one cares, it’s a dog-eat-dog world, everyone’s in it for themselves.

While there are certainly those out there who fit that description, by in large, I think it’s quite the opposite.

People are basically good. Very good, in fact. They want to help

So let them.

I know. If I’m going to talk the talk, I’ve got to be willing to walk the walk

So I am.

I’ve only just begun and already, it’s an amazing journey.

Since my Jan. 12 Stage 4 breast cancer diagnosis, I’ve been Letting People Help

  • Drive me to chemo.
  • Bring meals.
  • Pick my son up from school.
  • Fold laundry, vacuum, change the sheets, run errands.
  • Grocery shop.
  • Lend an ear at 4 a.m. when I can’t sleep and I’m scared out of my mind.
  • Clean the toilet.

Yes, you read the last item on the list correctly. When a close friend asked me if there was anything else I needed, I paused, let out a big sigh and said, “Would you mind scrubbing the toilet?”

Now that was a hard thing to ask.

But it needed to be done. And I was too nauseous from chemo to manage the task myself.

She grabbed the toilet brush – very enthusiastically, I might add – and disappeared into the bathroom. Her spirits were lifted by her ability to help and my willingness to let her. And so were mine.

Every single one of us has gifts to share. And perhaps more importantly, gifts they want to share.

So, let them.

Be as gracious a receiver as you are a giver. Let people help you up and over the rough spots in life.

Let them help.

You’ll get your chance to pay it back, pay it forward – or maybe even both.

Copyright 2011, Amy Rauch Neilson

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1 Comment

  1. I was right with you, Amy, during the initial months after I was diagnosed with Stage 3C Endometrial (Uterine) cancer.

    It was hard to “give in” and let people help.

    The most amazing day was when my 30-year-old son, who never washed a dish the entire time he lived with me, came over and did a badly-needed “deep clean” on my kitchen.

    Suddenly, through the fatigue and chemical fog of chemo, you realize helping you is one way people show their love in a situation where they feel otherwise powerless.

    Great article!


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