With everything that has been going on lately – pregnancy issues, Dexter’s flu, my bronchitis, and the ever-present stress of the whole situation – it’s been a real eye opener as to who in my life is really there for me. We have been feeling blessed to be receiving some incredible support from people, some of whom I’d never expected cared so much, and others who I have always known would be right there to lend a helping hand.
I am not naturally a person who can deal with people being nice. I am constantly paranoid and often suspicious of people’s motives. I tend to lean on the side of skepticism, hardly daring to hope that there are some really genuinely wonderful people out there. I guess I’ve just had a lot of bad experiences and been let down by people I should have been able to trust implicitly.
When people reach out to me, as they have been doing a lot lately, I am floored. Many times it is just a kind word or comment on my facebook updates. Sometimes I’ll get tweets from people letting me know they’re thinking of me and wishing me well. And while these are amazing sentiments that I do honestly treasure, I also recognise that it’s easier to offer a platitude than to give more of yourself or your time to reach out and offer genuine help, advice and solutions.
My parents have always been my go-to people for when I’m sick. There’s nothing I need more than my momma when I’m feeling under the weather. I HAVE to talk to her, tell her I’m sick and hear her tell me she is there for me and wants to take care of me, even though I know she’s far away and can’t actually do anything. I guess it’s the one thing we all crave our whole lives – mama’s care and love. It makes me happy because I can see that on some level, my children will ALWAYS need me, even when they’re grown and move away. At least I can hope so.
My dad has his faults, as all fathers do, but his gruff personality softens when his baby girl is in trouble, and I always know he is there to lend a sympathetic ear or offer a joke to make me laugh. He also helps offer practical advice on any given situation, even though he will ALWAYS preface it by reminding me that he’s not a learned man. While my mother is always very sympathetic, she doesn’t always have the words to make me feel better. She is just there, like a giant bosom you can snuggle into and know that everything will be okay. But dad is the one who will give me a pep talk, make a lame joke and then tell me to pick myself up and go forward. Tonight, after an uplifting phone call, he told me that from now until the baby is born, he is going to do me the honor of leaving his cell phone on until 7 PM each night instead of turning it off at 5 as he normally does. He wants me to be able to call him if and when I need him. It may seem a silly thing to most, but to me it shows just how much he cares.
We are also blessed in Mark’s family, every one of whom is always giving of their time and good wishes. Recently, with everything that’s been going on, Mark’s mom sent an email offering to call up our local Mormon volunteers who could come out and help us clean our house, watch Dexter and even cook for us. She made it clear it was something she was more than happy to do and that there would be no religious overtones to the offer at all. These are people who would gladly step in to help us and not think twice about it. And while we didn’t take her up on the kind offer, the fact that she took the time to try and think of a solution to help us through our troubles made me cry like a little baby. I am very grateful to have such a wonderful, kind-hearted woman as my mother-in-law (to be!).
Equally amazing has been Mark’s brother’s wife. She has been in contact loads through this pregnancy, offering support and advice which has been MUCH needed and appreciated. Recently, she gave us some things to consider about our insurance situation, and it’s been a huge help. Having four children of her own, she’s someone I am so glad to know and be able to ask questions of. I’m so sad that I’ve only met her once, nearly three years ago and haven’t had the chance to sit down with her in person and get to know her better. But it shows just what a naturally giving person she is that she would make so much effort toward someone whom she’s not spent much time with either!
Very recently, we have met a neighbor of ours who has a new baby of her own. She flagged me down in the parking lot several weeks ago and introduced herself and her beautiful daughter. I think it was kismet that we met, as I seem to have helped her through some tough times as she navigated the tough waters of new motherhood, and she has helped me by being my first friend in Florida, and a great lady to talk to about pretty much anything. We have so much in common, and I’ve been able to get out and about more since I met her. She comes over quite often for dinner and a movie, and we all get along splendidly – Dexter is a little bit obsessed with baby Rowan and is constantly kissing and hugging her and trying to get her to play.
There are many many people in our lives right now who don’t even know what big parts they may play in helping me through when I’m feeling quite low. It is tough for me to speak from the heart, and I only hope that they will all one day know (if they don’t already) how very much they are appreciated.
If any of them read this, I hope they will understand that EVERY kind word, EVERY good wish, EVERY piece of advice or offer of hope is gratefully received and treasured. Those whom I know in “real life” and those whom I know in passing or online are all equally dear to me, as they have reached out to me when I really needed friends.
So thank you and god bless you and may you know that you are truly a lifeline to this often defeated mama.