I am certain that everyone has looked, or at least felt, like this. So I have no shame in sharing:
But man, this past week, I thought I was going to die. I was sick—and I mean SICK—for eight solid days. It was the kind of sick that takes everything from you, and only gives you crappy stuff in return. It was horrible. I had no appetite, no energy, no voice, no sleep. I frequently had to lie in bed with a tissue shoved up one nostril because it wouldn’t stop running. Until I would turn over—and then I’d have to shove tissue in the other nostril instead.
While I was sick, Rick had to leave town for work again, leaving me with all the responsibilities of parenthood and no way to do them. I felt helpless. And depressed. I literally could not get out of bed. And when I realized I was down to the last of my Kleenexes, the camel’s back broke. My nose already looked like I had taken a cheese grater to it and the thought of having to use toilet paper on it instead of my UltraSoft Kleenex made me panic. But, when I tried to get up, my head pounded, my stomach hurt, and my legs wouldn’t move me. There’s no way I could make it to the store. I realized that I needed to face it. I needed help. And I needed to ask for it.
The problem was that I had already accepted a friend’s offer to take my kids to school in the mornings while Rick was gone. And I had accepted an offer for a friend’s husband to help give me a blessing. How much more selfish could I be?! Who was I to ask anything from anyone else? Surely everyone had their own things to worry about. My friends have their own jobs and families, their own kids. Their own dinners to make. Their own church callings to prepare for. They didn’t need the added burden of some pathetic 40-year-old to watch over too.
But I honestly had no choice. I absolutely needed help outside of myself. So I composed a text and sent it to three friends. To my amazement, one of them immediately—within seconds—responded that she would go get me tissues. I burst into tears. I could not believe that my friend was so willing to help. It was like the weight of the world—the weight of the empty Kleenex box—had been lifted from my shoulders. I found peace, knowing that help was on its way.
About 30 minutes later, my friend was on my doorstep with a beautiful brand new box of UltraSoft Kleenex and a tub of orange sherbet. It was a gesture that meant the world to me. She had done for me what I couldn’t do for myself. My heart was bursting with gratitude that, again, spilled out through my tear ducts.
As we all know, we are God’s hands on Earth. So part of our job as humans, is to help those around us. And, part of that, is accepting the help that is offered by others.
Toni Thomas wrote:
The Father’s plan for us helps us to grow in love and unity. The covenant of baptism does not require that we bear others’ burdens but rather that we bear one another’s burdens—that we help others carry their loads and accept help in carrying our own, both of which are important to our growth… whether they are seen or unseen, the Lord knows our burdens and wants to lift them: “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28). Often these burdens are lifted by human hands on His behalf; they are lifted by being shared.
And President Monson reminded us that “Every day of our lives we are given opportunities to show love and kindness to those around us...Love is expressed in many recognizable ways: a smile, a wave, a kind comment, a compliment.”
And even in a box of Kleenex.