I have an eight year old who has an interesting problem. She is constantly in trouble in school for being too…helpful. We have been told by counselors and teachers that she needs to focus more on what she’s doing, rather than being involved with other people’s affairs. It’s a rare situation where I’m in agreement with the figures of authority. I see her do it. In certain measures. Weather it’s lending a hand in a task that’s just beyond her grasp or making a fussy child laugh despite herself. We were informed by these figures of authority that we should be mindful of her behavior, and develop habits that would draw her focus back to herself. On paper, this is a simple task; keep lines of communication open, be involved in everything that she’s doing, you know, Dr. Spock’s greatest hits… Since she’s been in my life, her mother and I have made huge strides. But, as sure as the sun comes up in the morning, she’ll eventually revert back to becoming her typical nosy little self. She helps. More importantly, she tries to help; she makes an effort. In a situation where she can help, or she thinks she can help, she will. And I’m not completely sure I want to modify this little trait. Mostly because it’s a sign of character, but partly because it reflects something in me.
It’s not that I have an innate sense of lending a hand, it had to be drilled into me (only child syndrome). But as I grew older, I found myself helping in situations, not for any sort of personal or financial gain, but because it’s the right thing to do, much to my detriment. Sounds familiar. And I know it’s not just me. Many people attribute it to a higher power, “It’s the Christian thing to do” whatever that means. No matter how ugly the human race shows itself to be, we also have an amazing capacity for charity, for giving, for helping, for doing the right thing, and when we are faced with the realization that there may be nothing that we can do to help, to become utterly helpless, we learn the other side of being human.
As of the time of this posting, I managed to visit my Jewel of the Northeast, Portland, ME for a day, and a lovely day it was. In that one day, I reunited with friends that I thought I would never see again, including my alter-ego, Jamie. She hasn’t changed. Sure, she’s married now and has two fantastic young boys and a fantastic husband, other than that, she is still the same thoughtful, wandering poet that she always was. As with all my friends, I keep up with their respective families and what they’re up to via facebook. Before I left, I was introduced to Jamie’s husband through a mutual friend. His name is Ken.
Ken keeps, to the best of his ability, a thoroughly engrossing blog, and I highly recommend you all follow it, here. What does he blog about? Family, for the most part. But recently, he has been blogging about an aneurysm he has developed in recent months. He is frightfully optimistic about it. If it were me, I would be screaming holy hell as soon as I heard the news. But he’s handling it as if he were mildly inconvenienced, “Today, well let’s see…today I have to go to the store, pick up my dry cleaning, dentist appointment, and oh yeah, I have to remove this humongous growth in my brain.” It’s a sign of character. It’s a big thing with me.
As of tonight, Ken is in Intensive Care. He has been in and out of surgery for the past two days. I know very little of him. But what I do know is that he is the husband of one of the most crazy and brilliant women I know. I know that I will live a hundred years and never see her come to any harm, therefore by association, her family as well. I am the furthest thing from pious. I walked away from the fold many years ago. I’ve been sending out positive waves the best that I can, but at the end of the day, I can’t help but feel…helpless.
Please, it will only take a few seconds. Please send out positive vibrations of your own, say a silent prayer, light a candle, do one good thing that will tip the balance of the universe into his favor. I’ve done all I can, which isn’t much. I’m hoping the more positive people out there who are willing to help, the world will show it’s better side again.