Friday, November 11, 2011

My meal ticket, or, how I got over myself and accepted help

Last night, our last meal was delivered. Some of you might not realize this, but EVERY SINGLE Monday through Thursday night since September 20, 2011, (plus some random and delicious off-calendar surprise meals!) a meal has been delivered to our home. And I'm not talking sacks of McDonald's cheeseburgers, I'm talking full-on, home-cooked, thought-through meals to serve our little family of three, and then some. Each night, Dave, Lilah or my mother-in-law Janet would go to the cooler on the back patio to bring in the goodies. The kindness bestowed upon us was simply amazing.

And to think, I hate to ask for help.

This trait of mine is surely borne of my experiences growing up, those as an adult with cancer and of my type-A personality. Why depend on others when you can just motor through and do it yourself? Why risk being a burden? Who KNOWS where that'll land you? I mean really - who gets cancer TWICE in 10 years? Avoiding being a pain-in-the-ass is practically a vocation of mine. I run from "needy." So when I realized that I was going to be unable to cook and care for my family for a while after surgery, well, my throat caught. And then I knew what I'd have to do.

Duh. Ask for help. Oy.

And it wasn't only meals, it was housekeeping and childcare, and shuttling my kid around, and shuttling me around, and picking up groceries, and and and and and. Imagine all the things you do all week and then imagine being able to do none. of. them. It's wild, really, especially for a doer like me.

But you know what? People wanted to help?! It is the craziest, most awe-inspiring thing, the most restore-your-faith-in-humanity moment when you realize that people are willingly giving of themselves and their time to get you out of a jam. No strings, no consequences, no payback. Just unadulterated good will.

"Thank you" seems like not enough to say to people who literally saved your rear at a desperate time in your life . . . but what else is there to say? I can't express fully the gratitude I feel for friends, family, and neighbors, some of whom I don't know well, but who stepped up and "did something" when they heard of my surgery. I really, truly, will never ever forget all those meals, all those gestures of love and kindness. They filled me up when I was feeling low . . . and kept me going once I started to get stronger.

I still have a way to go 'til I'm back on top, but I'm prepared and cleared to do my own, simple meal prep and transporting. And while my energy will flag easily for a while, I'll rev myself up with thoughts of all of you, and draw on all those good wishes to push forward to the finish line.

Thank you, all of you. We could not have done it without you. And while it's not over, with your help, we've certainly reached a milestone.




  1. O.K. Sarah -- it makes your appreciate your normal role, huh? Get yourself a thumb peeler and a rotary grater to protect those precious arms and hands, Pump dispensers are good and a safe corkscrew to open some bubbly to celebrate your fortitude. If you are up to it, think shopping outside of the hospital, wow!


  2. If you need any inspiration for some AMAZING meals that are worth every minute to prepare, I know a good!! Delicious stuff! :-) Glad you have been taken care of so well - and don't think of it as "asking for help" think of it as us being able to pay you back for the inspiration and friendship you have given to us!


  3. I think this is a good reminder. I have a similar personality type to you and never ask for help. But little by little I'm realizing, like you, that people want to and that it makes them feel good if they care about you.