Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Grace



Dear You,

I have neglected to thank you in any timely fashion but won't undercut my apology with any excuses or defenses. Had I not been so stunned by it, I would have thanked you for your gift months ago. A mutual friend emailed me one day in March to tell me that you wanted to pay for Sophie's cannabis medicine. My friend told me that you read this blog and that I had helped you and that you, in turn, wanted to help us. My friend told me that this is something that you do. I didn't know what to say, so I said nothing. My friend emailed me again and stressed how important this was to you, how customary. Sophie's medicine is expensive. It is expensive for most people. Some people move their entire lives to states where they can have access to cannabis oil. Some people can't afford the medicine at all. We could hardly afford it, but I felt there were people far more worthy than I to receive such a gift. Yet the stress and strain of paying for it was considerable. I struggled for weeks in conflict over whether to accept such generosity. I am a strong person with sharp edges, my softness worn thin by the years. I am proud. I can do it. I can't do it. I can do it.

Accepting help is curiously one of the most difficult challenges I've faced over the two decades of caring for Sophie, and it's something that many of us who do this caregiving find we have in common. I think it has something to do with the chaos of our lives, our need to find order and meaning, to perhaps assuage our guilt and stem our suffering when we can't fix our children or control, really, anything.  There is a grace to accepting grace, and while I have had numerous opportunities to do so in this grand world, I confess to feeling more resistance than yield.  I accepted your gift and thank you for it. Thank you with all my heart. Sophie thanks you with all her heart.

Not a week goes by that I am not asked by someone for help, for advice, for information or for comfort. Graced, I try to live with grace. I feel like the woman at the well, dipping buckets down to the deep and pulling them up, overflowing. I don't know who you are, but your generosity is the water and the water keeps coming up, in buckets overflowing, and it's sustaining all of us. Thank you.

Love,
Elizabeth

26 comments:

  1. Incredible! Just wonderfully incredible!

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  2. This makes me breathe a big sigh of gratitude. It makes my head hurt a little less with all that is going on it the world.

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  3. LOVE.

    Brave you, allowing support. You give so much.

    This helps me have hope, in the world. In goodness.

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  4. I thank them too. Lovely.

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  5. Ah! This made me spontaneously laugh/sob. Thank you, whoever you are.

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  6. That is a lovely story, and the best part is that it's true. I'm grateful that you have this grace - to give, and to receive!

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  7. why, oh why, is it so challenging to accept the generosity and kindness that others offer? I can't say, but I know it to be true. When I have given (generously) to those who truly need it, my peace and contentment is at an all-time high. So everybody wins. Absolutely everybody.

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  8. Love love love this. Not only the story itself but how the kindness and gratitude and love gets handed down and spread through act of sharing the story. I was grateful to be touched by such grace today!

    I hear you, oh how I hear you, about the challenges of accepting help. I guess we're all here to learn something during this life, eh?

    Thank you and thank you to the mystery donor as well!

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  9. God bless giving, God bless receiving, both are sacred.

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  10. There are so many angels among us. I'm glad this one found you, and may there be many more. Love to you.

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  11. Oh you, Both of you. Grace indeed.

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  12. I'm so glad you will no longer need to pay for your medical cannabis. Having shared so generously your knowledge and counsel with so many of us around the world, you've earned it.
    But that insistence on doing everything yourself in an attempt to assert control over the uncontrollable, well, I'm afflicted with it also. Big time. I thought it was my personal foible and didn't realize it comes with the territory we inhabit.

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  13. "All of us are mothered children. Someone must satisfy our needs unilaterally in order for us to grow up. As time passes we become receivers of ever more complex gifts, and we must creatively receive and use what we are given."
    This is a quote by Genevieve Vaughan, who has inspired me on so many occasions.
    (http://www.gift-economy.com/theory.html)

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  14. Very good news for you, Sophie and the "gifter".

    Best,
    Bonnie

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  15. I suck at asking for or accepting help. It's a lovely gift for someone to give.

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  16. Oh, Elizabeth. This is a wonderful thing.

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  17. Please let the resistance go. A beautiful gift, and you are as deserving of it as anyone, even if others are in greater need.

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  18. Fuck "deserving." It's not a contest, it's community. It's relationship. People want to help, they want to be part of something bigger than them and when we don't let them, we are cutting ourselves off from that community. Accepting help is so incredibly hard, but I know that each time I do it, I open myself up to more grace and I free myself up to help others. That ultimately makes us all stronger. I admire your vulnerability and willingness to make that leap. I think so many people have it wrong; asking for (and accepting) support is a sign of strength, not weakness. Love you.

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  19. Wow. Beautiful. Happy to hear.

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  20. Sometimes people can be astounding in their kindness. It's nice to be reminded of that, as cynical as I sometimes get about the human race!

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  21. So wonderful for your family!

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  22. I am so glad to hear of this gift, Elizabeth, and glad you found a way to accept it. Blessings on you and your family. x0 N2

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  23. Just getting around to reading this - so glad I did. I get the hard-to-accept-help thing, and also a bit of mistrust in what is actually helpful. Love that this soul wanted to help you, as it helps us all to learn of such goodness.

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