Wednesday, July 13, 2016
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.