You’re a Big Help

I believe a common human need is to be helpful. Yet, as my eyesight decreases, I’m assigned fewer plum jobs with the Help Squad. Nowhere are my skills more underutilized than with family at holidays.

This year, I volunteered to hold the ladder while my brother strings the outside lights. Last year, nobody asked me to help and my brother fell off the ladder and hurt his back. This year my brother says he’s not getting up on any ladders, that he’s learned his lesson. I think he should have thought of that last year and asked me to hold his ladder. He would have saved himself a sore back. Plus, I would have felt helpful.

Nobody wants me to bring anything to the holiday party. They tell me to bring my appetite, that’s all. So I bring a nice bottle of Cabernet. It’s clean, unpretentious and needs no refrigeration. My family thinks I can’t cook and that’s based on solid evidence. But I can be helpful. I string more popcorn than I eat. Believe it or not, I’m good at wrapping gifts. Hell, I can be the best sober bartender your party could ever want. And, this year, I won’t even insist on a tip jar.

In return for my help, all I ask is a guide to cruise me through the buffet line. Buffets are the bane of the blind. Last year, my solo trip garnered nine deviled eggs alongside the decorative parsley. Just help me with food selection. I’ll do the rest. I will balance my flimsy plate on my knees while I keep the dog from stealing meatballs from that four year-old. Whose kid is that, anyway?

So, who needs a hand? I’ve got that “can do” attitude. Put me down as Santa’s helper. Especially you, bro. You stand six foot five and you need a ladder?

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5 Responses to You’re a Big Help

  1. bethfinke says:

    You know, when I first lost my sight I was so appreciative of all the help I was getting from professionals, family and friends, but after a while I realized it was important to my own sense of self to be able to help *others*, too. I took some training and volunteered on the suicide prevention hotline in my town and ended up learning a ton of stuff (both from the training, and from the phone calls I handled) that continues to help me to this day. Most importantly, the work helped me build up my self-esteem: I understood that I was indeed able to help others and understand that it is absolutely fine to accept help from others when I need it.

  2. Carl D. says:

    Hey Jeff – this is Carl D. — maybe you should Try “I need a hand” at
    Or you could start you own organation – uding thier format.
    They tell you:
    .No one plans to have life’s challenges bare down on you but yet none of us escape them. To have someone lend a hand in these difficult times could make all the difference. This is where we come in…
    We are a group of like minded individuals working hard to make a difference in the world around us. With a large pool of volunteers and resources to draw from we are prepared to consider most any need you can throw our way.
    At this point you are probably wondering…
    “How much?”
    The answer…
    “The catch”?
    There isn’t one.
    We desire to give back out of what has been given to us so our reward is nothing more than to walk with you through your challenging time.
    As each need is different there are no guarantees we can help with them all but we promise to do our best with every one that comes our way.
    What do you have to lose?

    • Jeff Flodin says:

      Beautiful sentiments, Beth and Carl. In my volunteer and paid work, I find the greatest reward is giving back, passing it on to others. The heart’s desire to help is made more full as we learn to accept help ourselves. And what better message for this Christmas Day?

  3. Maria says:

    Read your Randy Randy post on Beth Finke’s blog and now am going to subscrieb to yours — thanks for the, ahem, insight.

    • Jeff Flodin says:

      Hi Maria, and thanks for commenting about Randy Randy at Beth’s blog and taking the time to check out Jalapenos. While “You’re a Big HelP” is totally tongue-in-cheek, I’m taking a more sober look at service next blog here, which will be posted January 2. Hope to hear from you then.

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