The day’s work required use of a wheelbarrow. The wheelbarrow was at my house and the day’s work awaited me at Mom’s.
As I walked from my house to Mom’s I pushed the wheelbarrow before me. A neighbor, out for her morning walk, called out to me, “Wait up! Let me help you!”
I slowed my pace as she slipped in next to me. She took the right handle of the wheelbarrow in her left hand. I slid to the left and took the left handle in my right.
We walked down the hill together, side by side, pushing the empty wheelbarrow as we talked and laughed.
After a day of hard work, I walked out of Mom’s driveway with the wheelbarrow in hand. I was alone this time and the wheelbarrow was loaded full of heavy, green “hedgeapples” (osage oranges).
Up the long hill I went toward home.
I thought of my neighbor and her offer to help with the empty load.
At the top of the hill, I met this neighbor. She was returning from her evening walk and greeted me with, “My g**, girl, isn’t that heavy?”
I laughed and assured her the hard part was over and it wasn’t as heavy as it appeared. She went on her way and I went on mine.
My helpful neighbor recently turned 80 and has Alzheimer’s. She wasn’t able to help carry the heavy load, and in fact wouldn’t remember helping with the empty one.
But, she lightened both loads – the first by taking action and the second by acknowledging the load I carried.
“Let me help” doesn’t always mean we take hold and do. Sometimes it means we open our eyes and see – and our mouths and say.