You may remember the blog entry that I posted in May about my friend Jan and her Stand-uppity-garden. Age and a debilitating accident have made it almost impossible for her to do the requisite bending and kneeling that is needed if you are an avid gardener, as she is, but it has not stopped her from producing a showcase of splendor in her yard. Her table-top garden is just one example of how she’s faced her challenges.
She is not above asking for help either and it really got me to thinking recently as I read these words that she wrote: “Ashley helped me bring in the crotons yesterday. I almost envied her ability to get down and wipe the dirt off the big old pots as I held the 8 foot plant diagonally while she cleaned it. I thought to myself, I used to be able to do this all by myself and then get back up and keep going… and now… well… I guess this is what happens when those numbers keep changing.”
It made me think of my own situation and of all the things that I’ve missed because I couldn’t ask for the help that would make it possible. Blame it on my New England upbringing, or just on the fact that I’ve always been independent and “can’t” has rarely been part of my vocabulary. Now that I’ve reached the grand old age of 80 I find that there are actually a number of things that I can’t do … such as driving at night because the oncoming lights blind me. I wonder how many nighttime festivities I‘ve missed. But it’s still very difficult for me to ask for help and I’ll bet there are many of you out there just like me?
I also pondered over the fact that Jan was turning her disability into a selfless and win-win situation. Ashley is a college student who Jan has hired to assist in her outdoor work. With her help Jan is able to get her yard back to the amazing showcase that it has been for years and Ashley gets extra money for school.
Hmmmm… It reminds me of that young student who lives down the street. He’s working his way through college and I’ll bet he’s not afraid to drive at night ! Now, where do I have his number …