September 3, 2012 · 9:18 pm
Last year I wrote about ‘The Chicken”. If you don’t want to click back, I will make it short. When you live in a close-knit community and find yourself in times of need, people come out in a big way.
We tend to like to feed. I think outside the comfort piece, the idea of removing the hassle of the nightly meal for a family that already has too much on its proverbial plate makes sending in dinners seem like the right thing to do.
So basically, you love to make the chicken… receiving the chicken? Not so much.
This week we had two families in one close group of friends in need… of ‘chicken’. All I can say is that I sent out one email and within 24 hours there were six nightly home-cooked meals and a waiting list for one family and a Magic Bullet smoothie maker for the other, who for health reasons needed to puree, so to speak.
AND there were calls from more who wanted to help and text chains and emails and such an overwhelming sense of what community is, that it took my breath away… yet again. I never cease to stand in awe of what this means; how lucky we all to have each other; to try to imagine what my life would be like without this.
To have 2 dear friends in surgery on the same day is quite unnerving. There is not enough chicken in the universe that makes you feel like you are doing enough to ease the pain.
Until you stop an realize that you can’t. You can only love them. And their spouses. And their amazing kids and even their dogs. And be there for them the best way you know how when they get to the other side. Because they are the family you choose.
I am happy to report that both are doing as well as they can. And we want to let them both know:
There is plenty of chicken where that came from. Just say the word.
Because that is what we do.
November 8, 2011 · 6:19 am
I live in a wonderful community, one where people come out of the woodwork to rise to the occasion and come to the aid of anyone in need. I have been on both sides of this practice and let me tell you, being the receiver of this kindness is a lot more difficult.
When a family is in a crisis of any kind – usually health or loss – our community springs into action and gets things done… in a big way. Dinners are sent in, carpools are covered, birthday gifts are wrapped and rides to parties and after school activities are covered. This army of giving jumps into action at a moment’s notice and no one bats an eye at getting the job done.
I have a friend who is currently in this place right now. We have the best job of all, we get to dog sit during the day while she goes to work. Talk about reciprocal giving! (for those who are not regular readers, we lost our dog a month ago and cannot get used to a dogless house). She and I were sitting in my kitchen yesterday talking about how overwhelming it is to receive such kindness. My first thought was about the chicken dinner on Friday nights. In the Jewish faith, a friday night – or Shabbat dinner, usually showcases a chicken. Jews feed for comfort and there is nothing more comforting than a roast chicken dinner.
As she voiced how difficult it is to take in all this kindness when you are a relatively private and self sufficient family, it came to me…
You don’t want to be the one that gets the chicken!
Giving the chicken is cool. Making the chicken is wonderful. Dropping off the chicken feels so good because there is so little you can do to help someone close to you who is suffering. But GETTING the chicken? Oy, that is the ultimate admission that you are in a time of need; a time of crisis.
I am thinking that the damn chicken might have been the thing that broke me in my darkest hours.
Anyone else get that?
But in all seriousness, there is never a day that goes by that I am not grateful for what this town has shown it can do for its own; and making it look so easy in the process. It is a very special place indeed.
FYI, this family has used a wonderful website called lotsahelpinghands to help manage their needs. I urge you to check this out, while I hope that you never need to use it. Their tagline is ‘Create Community’; in our case it is simply ‘Enhance Community’.