That Four-Letter Word

Which wayAnother grey February day, but my spirits are bright. Snow is coming, but it doesn’t matter. Why? Because I finally found direction.

Yesterday afternoon Ken and I met with a representative from the ADRC — Aging and Disability Resource Center. It was a pleasant visit. Much more pleasant than I anticipated. I admit, some of the questions we had to answer were a little embarrassing, but at the end of the meeting, I felt lighter.

For those of you who’ve been reading my blog for a while, you know my pride gets in my way — on occasion. It’s in my DNA to be ashamed of defeat. It turns out my Grandfather had to accept “RELIEF” during the depression when he was fired from his job. For him, accepting money from the government to feed his family of eight was humiliating. He had fought for years to make it BIG in America as an Italian immigrant. But when both of us were backed into a corner for the sake of our family, we had to put our pride aside and ask for assistance. Liked Grandpa, I am backed into a corner, which gave me two choices, lay down and quit, or come out swinging. I chose the latter. And like Grandpa, I decided it was finally  time to fight for some help.

Ken’s MS and my long-term unemployment has destroyed our financial situation. And through the last three years, things have changed. Now, I must be home to care for him. He can no longer stay alone all day long, so full time employment is out of the question. Like everything complex, on one hand this is a curse, on the other it’s a blessing. After all, look at all the wonderful time we get to spend together.

As the ADRC  interview progressed, we found out we are eligible for financial assistance. We aren’t sure of the nuts and bolts of it all, and there’s TONS of paperwork to wade through, (it is the government, you know) and it will take time. But with guidance of helpful people and learning to utter that four-letter word, HELP, we will get some relief from some of the pressures we’ve been enduring for three years.

So, the next time you have a choice to yell, HELP! or keep quiet, I’m all for the yelling–now that I can utter the word out loud.

Saying that, just remember asking for HELP is a practiced behavior. Don’t beat yourself up if you can’t do it on the first try.

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7 thoughts on “That Four-Letter Word

  1. My guess is you would be first in line to offer help to someone else. Later, you will get to pay it forward. Everything is as it should be. You get to be there for him, and others get to feel good giving you help. Win, win. It was a tough lesson for me as well.

  2. Dear Barbara,

    Whatever may be in your DNA, your care for your husband is undeniable, and out of that you transcended your pride, that’s a great thing! Our pride can get in the way of things but you have shown here that the power of love is MUCH stronger than that.

    Also, as a generality, asking for help can be a beautiful relational thing as it gives the helper an opportunity to fulfill your needs and that in itself is a joy for them because we all have a natural desire to help. What if all of us stopped asking for help, what a sad world that would be!

    Love,

    Dirk

    • Thanks for your comment, Dirk. Your words are very kind, and the next time I have to ask for help, I will remember them. Barbara

      ________________________________

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