It would be fair to say that 16 years ago when I left Lafayette College and transferred to Purdue University that I ever expected to re-connect on the level I have in recent years, months and weeks with former friends and sorority sisters.
Regardless of the reasons and circumstances surrounding how so many of us have reconnected, I am left feeling tremendous gratitude and appreciation for each and every individual who has found a place in my life again.
A few weeks ago, and a mere two days before Harper’s unexpected early arrival, I had a text message from a college friend with whom I had reconnected with this past year.
Her message was direct and it hit me like a ton of bricks.
Paul and I were taken back by her message and I was left to wonder how exactly I had become so fortunate to have such wonderful people in my life.
After 16 years and only communicating via text messages and email, she was offering to fly down to Atlanta for a week and help out after Harper was born.
A mother of two boys herself, she understood the chaos about to unfold in our family. She was willing as she said, to “act as our nanny, dishwasher, errand girl and drive the boys around, walk the dogs and do whatever”.
I didn’t know what to say. Aside from feeling compelled to simply say thank you, let her know we’d be just fine, that we’re survivors around here after all, I was left wondering how exactly I could ever accept such an offer. I’ve always found comfort in being the one offering help to others and have spent a lifetime doing my best to avoid having to ask for or accept help at all.
Accepting her offer would go against the grain of every independent and self-sufficient bone in my body. Accepting would challenge my sense of independence and stubbornness at accepting help in any form. As awkward and foreign a concept it was to consider saying yes, in truth, I couldn’t find a valid reason to say no.
While her offer sent my wheels spinning, I quickly acknowledged how sincere she was. No strings attached and no quid pro quo. She had taken a leap of faith, followed her heart and made an offer of support and help from her heart. I felt grateful and honored.
Going against the grain of what I’ve always done, I simply said yes.
If she was willing to make such a generous offer, an offer I knew I’d have made myself, how could I not accept her offer for what it was? Accept it and embrace it as an opportunity to not only have an extra set of hands around, but more importantly, embrace the opportunity to really re-connect and grow our friendship.
Tomorrow we welcome Steph with open arms. I’m looking forward to spending a week together, re-living a bit of college memories, sharing, laughing, running around town like maniacs and most of all, the opportunity to re-connect and grow our friendship.
I look forward to returning her generous offer of help one day and in the meantime, I’m learning that accepting help is not about weakness at all.
Accepting help has always been about allowing your life to be enriched by another through a simple and selfless act of humanity. Why did it take me all these years to figure this out? Who knows, but better late than never.
Thank you Steph for showing me that saying yes and accepting help can make me feel strength not weakness.
Cheers to you my friend.