I have learned many lessons during this season of my life. One of the greatest is how to minister to others who are in need. There have been dozens of people who have shown me how to serve when you are not sure what the needs are.
As I walk through this valley I am unable to realize some of my family's basic physical needs. We have had many continue to bring us meals. A huge blessing when food is the last thing on my mind and yet the children still need to eat. We have had our lawns mowed, flowers planted, fences fixed, and even a dog buried. Most of the normal, every day chores are mentally, physically, and emotionally challenging. I usually get one good chore out of the way each day. That's it! And, then I collapse utterly exhausted.
In this grief, which I am finding out takes quite a toll on you physically, I am really unable to see what needs to be done. Our old chore charts will no longer work. Everything in our lives has changed including what duties we all must take on. New chore assignments will eventually make it back into our lives but for now we are dependant on others to help us in these areas.
The most important lesson I have learned through this is to just do it. If you see a need or know that there is no way this need is being met in another way then just do it. Don't ask if they would like it done...just do it. From personal experience, I really had not noticed that the lawn needed help until someone brought it to my attention. My grief and the grieving that my children are experiencing is taking up the majority of my brain power.
I would not have thought that driving to the foothills to visit Social Security would be that overwhelming but my friend knew it would and just told me that she was taking me. No "would you like to have someone join you?". The daily meals that we were receiving at the beginning of all this have dwindled but there are still friends and neighbors who every-once-in-a-while just bring over a hot meal or gift cards to a local restaurant. A dear friend is sending over her house cleaner...what a gift! When my friend was here from Atlanta she surprised me with a clean house and clean sheets on my bed. And, she even organized the kids to pick the rest of the oranges on our tree (something Eric did with the kids every year that will now have to be added to the very long list of new chores for us to take on).
I am not naive. I know that this new life is going to take some time getting used to. Even creating a new chart is going to be a big challenge. Step by step we will get there....there is no hurry. But, for now, we are extremely grateful for all the helping hands and can't wait till we get the chance to reciprocate.