Loving A Helper
Loving A Helper
I’ve started added a disclosure to my more personal posts. My words are never to be taken as a “me v. you” or an “us v. them” mentality. These pages are full of a broken hearted, Jesus loving girl who wants to be a citizen of the world, without having to leave her house. If you are offended by anything contained herein, please know, that was not my intent.
This online place is my couch, if you do not approve of the furnishings, go. I do not hold enough anger or resentment to allow it to taint me any longer. But if you are pissed, struggling, over flowing with joy, searching for meaning, learning to cook, screaming at your kids while crying over their growth charts, welcome home. Believe me when I tell you that you are most welcome here.
In the wake of Hurricane Harvey, I am reminded of a Mr. Rogers quote. I will bastardize it someway here, but the gist of it is that when there is tragedy always look for the helpers. Being glued to the TV the last few days there have been so many courageous acts in Texas. Harvey has brought out helpers from everywhere.
While I have sent up a lot of “what are you doing up there God?” prayers, there is one group I pray for the most during these events. The helpers are not the ones I pray for most fervently. During these times, I use lots of my energy and warm blanket thoughts for those that behind the scenes, the ones loving a helper.
Why? Because loving a helper is hard enough during there regular work days. Whether you are the spouse, girlfriend, baby mama, baby daddy, mother, father, friend, sister or brother of a helper, you know exactly what I mean.
What is a helper?
A helper is anyone who steps in during a crisis situation. In my life, my helper is my firefighter husband. For others it is a police officer, EMT, ambulance driver, military personnel or average citizen who has put their fishing boat in the flood waters this week in Houston to rescue their fellow man.
There have been enough people over the years who chuckle when I tell them what my husband does for a living. More than a hundred times I have heard “all they do is sit around a station” or receive an eye roll and ask what he does on his days off at his ‘real’ job.
, Before he took the job, I thought I knew what he was getting into. I had no idea the late nights and events in our lives he would miss.
After the tornado in Oklahoma, he and LOTS of other brave people went to work. And they loved it and felt honored to do it. As a group of antsy wives, parents, kids and girlfriends waited and waited for a phone call they were alright.
And today, a group from his department headed to Houston. One of the wives in that group of traveling men just had a baby. She is weepy and proud and reminded again that loving a helper is hella hard.
Nothing breaks around here until Daddy is at the station. A child does not throw up or have a fever unless he is working a forty-eight hour shift. Kids soccer games, recitals, parent teacher conferences and wellness checkups all seem to fall when Daddy is gone. Because loving a helper means holding down the fort, plumbing a toilet, having them hang up on you because they are rushing to save someone else, while you are trying to explain that the kids are sick and the dog just died. Many other people do this longer and better than I do. Single parents everywhere and long deployed military spouses, I am in awe of the jobs you do.
I love him even more for his desire to help. Getting to do this life, alongside him is the best life I ever dreamed of. Because loving a helper is the one of the most beautiful jobs to have in this life. It is also one of the most uncertain jobs to have. You are always asking: When will they be home? Remembering that they can’t call. Have they eaten? Are they safe? Are they getting enough rest?
A helper is one that while everyone else is fleeing a tragedy, the one you love the most is headed into the middle of it.
And that is our life. And our life is good.
I couldn’t imagine not loving a helper. Even on the days I cuss it.
To every firefighter, service member, police officer, cajun navy member, volunteer, EMT worker, ambulance worker, civic and church leader opening shelters, average joes who are anything but average, we salute you and all that you are doing.
To everyone who is loving a helper right now, I am lifting you all up extra special in the coming days and weeks and months and years. May your tribe encircle you and lift you up so that you can lift up the helper you love.
Looking to Help?
If you are looking for a way to help, send money to an organization you know and trust. Do NOT send supplies, clothes or any other items that you feel compelled to clean out of your garage or run to Target and buy, unless you have asked an organization for a current list of needs.
Also, set a reminder on your phone for one month, six months, one year and five years from now. Everyone runs in for a tragedy but almost no one stays for the cleanup. Make it a point to continue to check on Houston’s progress after Harvey and donate money again as time inches away from this tragedy and the world moves on to someone/somewhere else. It has been 12 years since hurricane Katrina and parts of New Orleans are still feeling the effects physically. They will always carry them emotionally.
And if you know someone who is loving a helper right now, reach to them. Offer to drive their kids to soccer practice, send a pizza or just bring a bottle of wine and leave it on their porch.