Newspaper article Evansville Courier & Press (2007-Current)

Sometimes It's Nice to Be Receiver of Care

Newspaper article Evansville Courier & Press (2007-Current)

Sometimes It's Nice to Be Receiver of Care

Article excerpt

If you are anything like me (no, smarty, I don't mean clumsy), maybe you grew up in a time and place that taught you to be self- reliant and never ask for anything that isn't offered. I come from a long line of hardheaded, strong-willed, independent Southerners who'd rather drown in a well than swallow a little pride and ask somebody to throw them a rope.

Refusing to ask for help does not mean you don't need it. It just means it galls you to ask.

Take my mother, for example.

Once, when I was a teenager, I dared to suggest that if her life were more interesting, she might not need to spend so much time meddling in mine.

And if that wasn't enough to get me killed, I went on to say she ought to get out more often.

"I get out plenty," she said, spitting words like darts. "I go to work every day, then I go home to fix supper. On Saturday, I go get groceries, after I clean my house and do six loads of wash. On Sunday, I go to church, then I go see my mama. I don't need to get out more. I need help."

But would she ask for help? No. She hated feeling needy.

They say that when a woman dies, she is reborn in her daughter. Like my mother, I've always hated feeling needy. But lately, it's getting worse.

It started two weeks ago when I tripped and fell (never mind how) and broke my foot.

The good news was, I didn't need a cast, just a plug-ugly boot that I could take off to shower or to float in the pool, but had to wear at all other times around the clock, even to bed, for six whole weeks.

And with that, I slid into a pit of self-pity as I became painfully aware of things I couldn't do.

The boot allows me to walk, but slowly, with a limp and hitch that's exhausting, and makes me look like a hobbled mare.

I limp and hitch from one room to the next, plop down in a chair and breathe a weary sigh, only to realize that I left my glasses or book or Diet Coke or whatever in the other room, along with my religion. …

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