I have spoken before about a thing called ‘Acts of Service’ that a Counsellor once described to me. It is about saying ‘I love you’ with actions rather than words.
I like to look after people that I love. My husband, my children, my grandchildren. It is my ‘I love you’ in physical form. My husband works shift work and I try to have things ready for him for dinner when he comes home tired from work. When I am with my grandchildren, I cook them meals and spend time together building memories. I listen to them when the older girls talk about the challenges of starting High School. I make sure they feel heard.
I hope that my family remember fondly the things I do for them, that illustrate how much I love them. I joked tonight to my husband that I am banking some credits for when he has to look after me.
The thing is, in my work as a Social Worker, I see people like me who are helpers, carers, supporters. They are looking after others. In my experience those who are naturally inclined towards helping others are good at being ‘givers’ but not so good at being ‘receivers’ when they need support.
One day, down the road in this journey I call ‘Parkies’ I will need help. My husband will need help and support. I only hope that when the time comes that pride and sheer bloody mindedness don’t get in the way of accepting help when it is needed. I also hope that when I am no longer here – if I go before my husband – that my family continue to look after him for my sake.
So, I will continue to help and support others while I can and hope that I have the wisdom to know and accept help when my turn comes.