Day 310. Too Proud?

It’s uncanny.  Honestly it is.  It’s not like I wait for the WordPress Daily Prompts before I write my blog posts.  I do have plenty of my own ideas.  But there are some helpdays when, even if I’ve already started to work, the Prompts feel like they are just meant for me.

And I end up abandoning what I’ve started (not really, I save it for another day) and begin again.  It’s just that personally relevant.

Yesterday was such a day.

“When you’re unwell, do you allow others to take care of you, or do you prefer to soldier on alone?  What does it take for you to ask for help?”

As always, it’s my mother who inspires me.  Who guides me.  Who shows me the way.  Who’s my role model. During her lifetime, after her lifetime, it doesn’t matter.  She’s still the teacher.  And always will be.

I’ve talked about my mother many times before, and will continue to, but for new readers and followers, here’s just a quick peek into what kind of woman she was.  Funny.  Feisty.  Independent.  Strong.  Determined.  Loving.  Generous.  Kind.  Curious.  Wise.  And on it goes.  What’s germane to this story, though, was her strength, determination and independence.

When her health started to decline (noticeably) a phrase popped into my head one day.  Or at least, my consciousness.  What’s weird is, I have no recollection where it came from.  Hard as I try, it remains a blank.  I don’t know if I read it, or heard it or saw it somewhere.  Or just imagined it.  All I remember is the phrase.  By then I’d wanted to write a book for many years, but was having trouble coming up with a ‘sticky’ idea.  But the instant the sentence I’m about to share with you popped into my head, I knew it was the key to a book.  About my mother.  One I would write in the future.  One I’m writing now.

“If you’re lucky in the end, you’ll let go of your pride and let your loved ones take care of you”.

The reason it resonated with me the way it did is, because it describes my mother so perfectly.  She knew how and when to ask for help.  She knew it didn’t make her weak.  She knew it didn’t make her dependent, instead of independent.  She lost nothing.  She gave up nothing.  She knew it didn’t ‘diminish’ her in any way.  In fact it did exactly the opposite.  It firmly established she was in total control.

Because she ‘owned’ it.  And instead of becoming ‘frail’, she became stronger.  She didn’t become a ‘victim’ of old age and illness.  She got all the help she needed to stay safe, be as healthy as she could be, and enjoy what remained of her life to the fullest extent possible.

She won.

Just one of the many important lessons she’s taught me.

We’re all different, of course.  And we all have the right to live our own lives, our own way.

There are those who never say a word about their health.  Don’t want to discuss it.  Don’t want company for doctors’ appointments or treatments.  There are those who want all of the above.  Want to share all the details.  Want a sounding board.  Want advice.  Want someone along on all medical visits.  And then there are those in the middle.

My mother was pretty much in the middle.  Until, as I said before, her health really started to go downhill, she managed it alone.  She never asked me to go to doctors with her, although she did tell me everything that was going on.  I knew what her conditions, and even concerns, were.  I knew what medication she was on.  Not that I was being nosy.  She told me, of her own accord.

But it was only when she felt she couldn’t cope with it all any more, when she started to feel really poorly, that she asked for my help.

While I’m not in the same boat, health wise, as she was (thankfully), I have to say I’m the same.  I don’t feel the need to tell friends or family every time I go for a physical.  Or a mammogram. Or anything routine.  I don’t even feel the need to necessarily share the odd issue that might come up.  But I do know if I felt it was more than I could handle on my own, I’d be the first to ask for help.

Which, by the way, doesn’t mean it has to be something serious.  I rarely get colds and flu but there was this one time I had an awful case of the flu.  I was run down and vulnerable.  My mother was not well, either.  It was not a good time.  And when a friend called and asked if I needed anything, I swallowed my pride and said “Yes”.

All I needed was soup, juice and some Tylenol, but I just didn’t have it in me, to get it for myself.  Thankfully my friend offered.  And equally thankfully, I accepted her kind offer.  And you know what?  It didn’t hurt a bit.

18 thoughts on “Day 310. Too Proud?

  1. Fransi,

    The way you feel about the Word Press prompts is how I’m feeling about your post. I am, right now, recovering from some surgery. All is fine. But I have been asking for help and my dear friends and family have been marvellous. I feel so lucky to be basking in their generosity and their love. And it’s been really fun to watch how each of them cares in their own way. I have learned so much from each of them. And they have each helped me – by sharing their caring energy – get better.

    You’re a lot like your mother, Fransi:) Thank you.

    • I didn’t know you’d had surgery. Glad to hear you’re on the mend. And that you’ve got so many people anxious to help. Feel free to add me to the list. Take care. Hope you’re back to normal soon.

  2. My mother wasn’t so good at accepting help except for me. We were very close because my father died when I was young so it was just the two of us for many years. I remember my cousin (who was very close to her) tried to empty out her commode when she was ill and she was mortified. Sometimes we have to allow others to “feel good” about helping out. (BTW my WP has been funky for a couple days. I can’t “like” anything so considered yourself liked!)

  3. Such a beautiful post, Fransi. And such a poignant quote. I understand that it’s so difficult to truly “need” help sometimes and to accept that help when it’s offered. Accepting support from our friends is really a gift we have to allow ourselves to receive.
    But, I agree — it’s often easier said than done! I still struggle with this, too. 😉

    Thank you for sharing more about your Mom. She sounds like such a special person and I’m sure she is so proud of you… xo

    • Thank you! Help is sometimes difficult to accept. But I agree with you. It is a gift, a wonderful gift we should allow ourselves to accept.

  4. Like your Mother, I fall somewhere in the middle. I’m fiercely independent and somewhat private but when the chips are all the way down I do ask for help. I’m fortunate to have a wonderful family and friends close by. I’m there for them too. I admit to feeling a bit uncomfortable receiving help. I know its just my pride rearing its ugly head and remind myself that opening myself to receiving is good for everyone involved.

    • Yes, we really can’t let pride get in the way of what is good and right for us. That is really my mother’s lesson; and one I try to keep right in the front of my mind where I can’t forget it 🙂

  5. Ah, since this is Pride Month, I didn’t know what to expect after I read your title :))

    How fortunate you are to have had such a wonderful Mother. It’s so nice to hear you talk about her. Comforts me in a way (isn’t that odd?)

    • Thank you! I did have a wonderful mother. I am happy that you enjoy my stories about her. I am writing a book about her.

  6. Pingback: Pride | Ireland, Multiple Sclerosis & Me

  7. Pingback: Pride | Kick-Ass Ireland!

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