Sunday, July 23, 2017

Always Choose To Help

Always Choose To Help
By: Kelli J Gavin

When I was 16, I remember my sister and I standing mouths agape listening to our mother retell a story of  how she helped a neighbor when my sister was a baby. She explained that Marv and his wife had a baby, and Marv’s wife had a hard time and left the baby in Marv’s care and didn’t return. Marv was in a panic. He didn’t know what to do with a baby. The baby had never taken a bottle and was screaming in his mother’s absence as he was so very, very hungry. My father opened our front door to Marv in tears and he said two simple words, “Help me.”  My father took the screaming baby and turned and handed him to my mother. My mother immediately sat down to fed the abandoned baby.

My sister and I couldn’t believe the story that was being shared with us. My mom said, “If you can help somehow, always choose to help.”

My mom’s words rang true today as my kids and I were heading home from the library. While driving past a park in Carver, I witnessed a small child bounce back and crumple to ground. I observed a large family, all on bikes race to his aid.  I checked behind me and swerved into the parking lot. I saw the father trying to hold the child’s forehead in his hand as blood dripped to the ground. “My name is Kelli, I saw what happened. What do you need from me?” I grabbed wipes and everything I had available for the father to apply pressure and help control the bleeding. I then  brought the father, the oldest child and the wounded child in my van to seek immediate medical care. I felt horrible as I saw the mother and three remaining children in my rearview mirror. I didn’t have room for all of them.

My kids unfortunately had to witness a medical emergency, but they also got to witness something else. This is what choosing to help looks like.

I am sharing this story with you not for the accolades. I am sharing this story with you as encouragement to do the same.  My mother was an example of a helper. I want to be that helper also. We should all help if we can.

That single mom at Target who needs to change her baby? Hang out with her other kids while she does so. That dad at wits end at the grocery who can’t find the spaghettios, offer to show him where they are. That couple down the street who can’t seem to catch a break, offer a respite and childcare if need be.  That friend who just had a baby? Plan on bringing her family a meal once a week for the next 3 weeks so she doesn’t have to cook. Witness a car accident? When safe, stop to see if everyone is okay and call the police and ambulance if necessary. Just help.  Helping often takes so little time, and often little effort, but the help provided is so welcomed and treasured.

This world is complicated and difficult. We can’t go through our daily lives fending for ourselves. Offering help, support, and encouragement to others is something we need to do more freely. Never believing that the help would not be needed or someone else will offer.  If we see that someone may need help, choose to be the helper. 

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