It surprises me how persistent the universe can be when it has decided to deliver a message. Of all the messages I might pull out of my recent life experiences, the one that strikes me most profoundly is that, if help is needed, help will come. It is not as if I haven’t had occasion to learn this previously. I think of when I was on complete bed-rest during my second pregnancy. I was told I would lose the baby if I didn’t spend the next five months recumbent. I was beside myself trying to imagine how I would care for my nine-month old infant during the days while my husband worked. A social worker came to my bed in the Maternity Ward of Baystate Medical to discuss the arrangements before I could be discharged. Did I have family, friends or church to help me through? I was dumb-founded. I had spent thirteen years as a career woman, my family lived out of state and my friends worked. We were on a budget -- I couldn’t just “hire help.” I had just joined a church, but didn’t have any relationships, yet. In retrospect, all of my objections, hand-wringing and uncertainty amounted to a distant memory. The part-time nanny I had coming in while I was working part-time myself was able to increase her hours. I was able to cover the cost with the insurance through work. She was willing to be our housemother three days each week. When people heard of our straits, somehow, meals appeared, offers of help came by mail and phone. I learned to say yes, please, thank you, thank you. My husband became an accomplished house-husband. Month-by-month, I laid in bed and grew a beautiful, 9lb., 15 1/2 oz. baby girl. Katherine arrived on September 29th, full-term and healthy.
Fast-forward to late September, 2011. I find myself physically limited in ways I hadn’t forseen. I am hopeful that the situation will be short-lived. However, I am working hard to find a way to meet my obligations, do daily errands and keep up on my commitments. Today, a friend came for tea and brought with her boundless energy, a positive attitude and a generous spirit. Later, I was delighted when a woman with whom I’ve enjoyed many conversations, came to see me, lunch bags in hand. She offered to do some driving for me – particularly to exercise! Just last week, I called a long-time acquaintance, Sharon, who had become a home heath aide. Her call today surprised me. She has a friend who drives to Boston regularly who might be willing to get me to my doctor’s appointments. Sharon said her Mondays may be open for a few hours and she could help out, if need be. Finally, her daughter, a Master’s candidate studying occupational therapy,will have time Wednesdays to do shopping or errands for me. As I let my good fortune sink in, my cell-phone tinged a text alert. A friend of mine wanted to know what kind of tea I would most desire from Two Brothers Tea. She wants to bring me some to give me a lift. Just when I started to think I was alone and overwhelmed, the Universe has spoken.