Well, it is. So much so.
In this case, she is. And I am both humbled and appreciative in quantities I cannot express.
You see, I've been absolutely pummeled by Things lately. Not big things. Not bad things. Just things. What's the old saying, nibbled to death by ducks? It's migratory season and I am camped out at the watering hole, people. There are ducks everywhere.
And there are days that I suspect I'm the only one who can see them, which puts me pretty firmly in the Hunter S. Thompson category for a) crazy, and b) really unable to handle the situation.
So when I got paralyzed last week and decided that refinishing furniture was probably my number one priority, that was a big red flag for me. WHOA, Nellie! Why are we painting a nighstand in the basement? (Because it's something I can do. That helps. And has an end point. Unlike every flipping thing else going on in my life. Hand me the sandpaper and stop asking questions.)
And a dear friend asked, "Is there anything I can do to help?"
And my inner idiot said, in a very tiny voice, "No, I'm fine."
And a dear friend said, "Can I come over on a specific date to help with specific things?" (Which, really, is the better question to ask, because when people are stripping hardware in the basement instead of washing walls, they don't really know what kind of help they need. Or what they need, at all. True story.)
And I started to say, in what I intended to be a Big, Strong Brave Voice, "Nah, I've got it." But then I heard the punchline to my favorite joke...
I sent you two boats and a helicopter. What more help did you want?
And since the Holy Spirit seemed to realize that I need pedestrian humor to get me moving, I laughed. And then I said, in a Very Relieved Voice, "Yes, that would be lovely."
Then, she came. And I stood here, in my mess and clutter, with one sock on cockeyed, feeling very, very vulnerable while she did not freak out, grab the children and yell over her shoulder as she ran for the truck, "Who lives like this?!?!" (For which I am forever grateful.)
She made a check list. She pointed us in the right direction. Then (OH! THE GRATITUDE!) she worked with Em to box up all. her. art. All of it. Into bins. And Em didn't cry. She didn't feel stripped of her world. This friend did something that I could not have done with all the Moscow Mules in the world at my disposal: she made packing up fun for Em!
And she cracked the paralysis that had overcome me. I don't know which of the aspects I appreciate the most, but I'm going to do my part by saying, y'all, Be. That. Friend. Be willing to step up alongside your friends when they are stuck. Even if you don't know what they need, just go be present. Lob ideas. Laugh. Visit. Work if there's work to be done. Bring joy. Be encouraging. You have no idea what good it can do a soul! But they will, and it will matter.