Last December, as I tried to explain one more senseless tragedy to my children, I turned to the good Mr. Rogers and encouraged my girls to look for the helpers. They were there, those that run to help in an otherwise terrible situation. They are always there, if you look.
Wallowing in the self pity that comes with a Thanksgiving spent, not full of glorious friends and food, but as a precursor to a weekend full of struggle, I easily forgot that there are helpers in every situation, the kindness is not reserved for catastrophic events. And while moving my mother from a home she has known for over 20 years to a small senior living apartment might not be a worldwide tragedy, for us it was stressful, for her painfully unpleasant. The actual work compounded by her frustration, and, for those of us moving her, the exhaustion, mental and physical, of dealing with logistics, anger and limited time.
There they were, the helpers: the uncles who swooped in and took Mary and Kate away from the madness, who gave them sanity and bowling when the level of crazy elevated to one step beyond tolerable; and the girls, who made every effort to welcome Grandmommy to her new home, bringing nine year old happiness to a bleak situation, along with a tiny Christmas tree for her new apartment. But there was more, plans hatched in another room while the adults debated the proper placement of living room furniture, notes written by Kate, ten altogether, and distributed by Mary into the mailboxes of new neighbors, all without my knowing, but all to the delight of my worn soul.