I was recently reading this post by Chereen from For The Beauty Of It blog & it reminded me of the importance of showing up. For friends, family & acquaintances.
Sure, we can’t be all things to all people. Plus not all of us have the same personalities or gifting. You might not always be in an emotional or financial place to help, to support or show up & that is totally ok. Showing up also doesn’t only mean in a physical sense. It can also be in the form of prayer, a phone call, a hand-written note or a WhatsApp message.
I have become more aware of how precious & trying life is over the last few years. Call it adulthood. Call it adulting. Or maybe it is something about being a parent or just being over 30? My feelings & thoughs are probably sparked by some recent tragic events & made me aware of how important it is for us all to show up. It goes without saying that showing up is also welcome & necessary in times of happiness, celebrations, & fun.
But it is just that it remains more prominent in our memories when people show up in trying times.
I don’t know if I have actually shown up more than a handful of times in my life, but I’d love to tell you about the times that people* showed up for me & for us because it honestly meant the world…
- The time when I was home alone with a tiny baby, in my pj’s, crying all day. Eventually, I drove to my friend’s house & she gave me tea, comfort & warm words. I can’t remember exactly what she said, but she offered to let me have a nap & take my baby plus her own two little ones for a walk. I can’t remember if I napped or if she actually took the kids outside, but it meant so much.
- The time an acquaintance (who was becoming a friend) simply arrived at our house with a home-made meal. She knew I was recovering from my gazillionth flu while Ernie was away.
- The day my brother had a heart attack & my friend came over with food. She prayed with me & gave comfort.
- My neighbour – who knew my husband was away – phoned to check up on me when I hadn’t opened the shutters & windows early enough.
- The time when another neighbour – who was the ultimate corporate stylish gal & someone that you could probably imagine would have no time to ‘show up’ – brought me some traditional home-made snacks & check in.
- When two friends realised that I wasn’t going to finish packing on time before the moving truck comes & just kept coming back to pack with me.
- When an acquaintance so generously contributed – financially, personally & time wise – to my charity event. Even when there was very little in it for her.
- The time when a super guy friend – who also happens to be a brilliant cook – left a piece of home baked mealie bread in my little university post box.
- When my two brothers (the one from my mother & the one from another mother) drove 5 hours at night to help us pack for our move across the country.
- The times of change when friends checked in to hear how we are. Weekly. Daily.
- The time when my friend kept encouraging me to join their fitness group – not only because my body needed it, but because my mind was desperate for movement & kind faces.
- When a friend silently cleaned the kitchen after we had a big get-together. When I finally wanted to clean up later, I could go directly to bed because she had done it all.
- Our helper (Margaret, bless) who made me so many cups of tea when I was a young mom. Her words: “Nonno, you are a mommy now” when I was complaining about my new figure & all the clothes that I wasn’t fitting into.
- The time when my friend flew to London, to see me for Christmas. I realise now that she could probably not afford it.
- The afternoons, days, hours spent with fellow moms, chatting, venting, laughing. Having cups of tea.
- The day when we were hi-jacked & our dear neighbour offered his phone, then brought a tray with a delicious pot of tea & later also flowers.
- The Christmas when we were supposed to be the supportive ones but never got round to sending gifts. My sister-in-law sent the most magnificent Christmas boxes for all the adults – all the way across the continent!
- The time when I was so desperate for some TLC. I needed to get away from my real life – even just for a night or two, & my friends welcomed me in their gorgeous apartments with a beautiful crisp bed, towels & little treats on the bed.
I am so grateful for everyone who has shown up. I can only hope to also show up in some shape or form for those dear to me & those that I don’t know.
I hope that this list has reminded or encouraged you to show up. Or, if you don’t have the capacity to show up, just make a list of the times when people did, in fact, show up for you. It will make your heart feel warm.
Thanx for reading.
* I’m not including our amazing parents in the list above, because I can honestly never list all the teas, conversations, open homes, encouragement, prayers, open hearts, meals, hugs, prayers, driving across the country or from city to city, warm beds or comforting words; over here
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