Fridays are my my usual day for volunteering at the local nursing home, so I welcomed the nice change in having a day out on the town. It was an afternoon of taking some of the residents on a scenic drive with a stop for an old fashioned home cooked meal at an old school diner that was 20 miles away.
We had a bit of trouble getting one of the new residents to join us but with a little additional coaxing we won her over. She’s very nervous about leaving the safety of her surroundings – understandably, considering that she’s 93 years old, in a wheelchair and is 90% blind. We soon won her trust after reassuring her she was in good hands and she would be well cared for every step of the way. After everyone is secured in their seats on the van, I sit beside my new friend and immediately got her lost in talking about her family. It was obvious that she was starting to feel at ease and ready to enjoy her outing.
Arriving at the restaurant and as we get seated aroud the table, I make sure I was sitting beside my new friend. I help her with her order and when her food arrives, I let her know where everything is – rearranging things on her plate as she makes her way through the meal. As we’re getting ready to leave she says, “I had the most amazing day, thank you for your help, you made me feel safe and relaxed. I look forward to going out on many more road trips.”
I was taken back by here words because helping her just came so naturally to me – I just wanted to do what I could to make sure she had a good experience.
As I drive back home and reflect over the day, I thought about my new friend and how this experience has taught me something about myself.
I have difficulty in accepting help from others when its being offered. When its reversed, I gladly do things for others without any thought or reservation.
I need to learn to not be afraid to accept help – when the truth is, people love to help other people. It gives them a sense of satisfaction to know that they made someone’s life a little easier. We get so caught up in the fears that come with asking or accepting help that we don’t realize the joy that most people would receive from lending that helping hand.
As Barbra Streisand sang it so well…“People who need people are the luckiest people in the world.”