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 days 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.
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.