My friends were sipping eggnog and singing carols in their ugly sweaters, while I was home in pain.
Back then, my leg looked like a tree trunk. It was strapped in a metal brace after surgery. My personal pity party was ready to begin…but I changed my tune.
When I’m sick or feeling low, I usually hide and hibernate. Reading, binge-watching whatever, and catching up on sleep are always on the docket. However, my recovery was anticipated to last months.
I remembered a quote I once read: “Be strong enough to stand alone, smart enough to know when you need help, and brave enough to ask for it.” ~ Mark Amend
So instead, I stepped out of my comfort zone. I chose to text friends, asking them to stop by anytime. I left the front door unlocked instead of retreating. Soon that door revolved with visitors.
Uncles, in-laws, neighbors, and friends stopped in to leave food, lend a hand, and share of themselves—and their stories. Every evening, I poured gratitude into my prayers for their company.
People have the power to dilute and diffuse pain. Their warm and gentle touch covered me in a blanket of grace. This comfort helped me open up like I hadn’t in a long time.
We talked about everything. I cried in their arms and melted by their sides. We laughed together at the strange self I had become with my mismatched slipper socks, “day pajamas,” and hosting visitors on my bed.
Now, months later, my recovery still continues. It definitely hasn’t been all fun and games—yet, I am so grateful. In each of those vulnerable moments, we were fully present for one another. Those times were the best gifts of the season.
So, the next time you feel like crawling away from friends, try to do the exact opposite—and let us know how it goes!
Finally, to all those who have helped me along the way: I thank you.
Author: Kate Fleming
Image: Flickr/Alena Navarro-Whyte; Gratisography/Ryan McGuire
Editor: Yoli Ramazzina
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