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Sunday, April 5, 2015

"Look For the Helpers...."

Fred Rogers, aka "Mr. Rogers," for those of us old enough to remember his show, once said a simple, beautiful thing. I came across this quote initially after the bombing at the Boston Marathon occurred. The news was overrun with stories, interviews, and replays of the horrifying moment on video over and over. My children aren't allowed to watch these stories at home, but other kids mentioned the story to them during school. They were scared, worrying that this might happen closer to our home. I was at a loss as a parent, in that moment. I didn't have the slightest idea how to explain something as senseless as this to a child. The last thing I wanted was to make them feel like the world was a horrible place.

When I saw this quote for the first time, it caught me in a moment when life seemed overwhelmingly terrifying, unpredictable, and out of control. Not only could I not control my environment, seemingly crawling with sociopathic murderers according to the news, but I also had no ability to control my own body. My own body was my biggest enemy. Never mind the thugs and psychos wandering my city streets. My own immune system had launched an all-out attack, and I had absolutely no way of protecting myself. I recall seeing crowds of sad, mourning people on the news that day. Children were among the crowd of bystanders, and among the dead. How to explain this? How to make them feel safe again? Here is the quote that flashed across the screen.....

So, there it is. As simple as that. Quickly, I began to ponder this statement, and I realized that this was the key. Those tremendous moments of tragedy are the times that we see the helpers come from nowhere, risking all to save others. Who are they? These special souls who show up at these moments, pulling others from darkness. Some may say they are Angels, sent from above. I believe they are humans, just like you and I, who take an opportunity to show love and kindness during the most terrible moments. Unfortunately, it takes tragedy to really see these helpers in action on the news. Though it isn't as exciting from an evening news perspective, we know these helpers exist every day. When you have an illness like MS, you get the chance to see the helpers on a daily basis. Those loving spouses, friends, family members, and healthcare providers who put us before themselves. Those caregivers who spend long, difficult hours tending to the needs of others. Those people who seem to have a true gift, a calling, and they answer it without fail. These are the helpers I would like to recognize. Though they may not have a spot on the national news tonight, they have a spot in my heart, and the hearts of all the individuals whose lives they have touched. Thank You. You know who you are......

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