“Help, I’ve fallen and I can’t get up!”
I used to roll my eyes every time that commercial came on the television. My friends and I made it into a joke, working the reference into our conversations.
Then last Thursday afternoon occurred.
I am recovering from extensive surgery on both my feet. I’ve spent the last several months in a wheelchair with casts on my legs. I have been astonished at how weak my legs are as my muscles withered away from inactivity. I am literally learning how to walk again.
Thursday afternoon I decided to go out on our screened-in-porch and enjoy the sunshine. I was proudly demonstrating my ability to now walk with just a cane to my wife when it happened.
Pride not only goes before the fall, but it accompanies it all the way to the floor.
The cane got caught on the rug on the floor. The cane went one way, and I went the other way. In a fleeting moment I had fallen down hard on the floor.
I didn’t have the leg strength to get off the floor on my own. My wife couldn’t lift me. My neighbors were at work.
I was channeling that commercial in my head as I pondered my options. I really had fallen and I couldn’t get up. We tried everything we could think of but nothing was working. Swallowing the last shred of my dignity, I called the non-emergency number of our local Emergency Services.
I actually considered using a fake name as I dialed.
I explained my situation to the dispatcher. He could not have been more kind and understanding as he assured me someone would be right out to help me. Just a few minutes later a two-man crew arrived at our house, and a minute later they had me off the floor and sitting in a chair.
They were incredibly kind and helpful. They reminded me that day or night they are always there if I need them. I simply need to just pick up the phone and ask for help.
As special-needs parents there are days when we feel overwhelmed. The stress, the responsibilities, the constant action that is required of us, it can leave us feeling as if we’ll never get back up. Yet too often, we don’t ask for help.
I remember in the early years being afraid to ask anyone for help. No one understood our son’s needs like us. No one could take as good of care of him as us. We tried doing it alone, and closed the door to any offers to help us out.
We have to be willing to let others help us when it’s needed. We can’t be afraid to ask for help from a friend, a family member, a neighbor, or someone from our church. If we decline their offers to help us out, we are robbing them of a blessing.
We cannot isolate our families in the special needs caves of this world. We need community. We need each other. We must remember that we are never alone. And we must not be afraid to invite others into our lives.