Just Let Me Know

Boyleing Points

People are nice. I mean, I know you don’t usually catch me saying that. The opposite is true so often I can’t go twenty minutes without saying people suck, people are a-holes, people are slobs, effin people…See? People make me curse but I’m not gonna do it, I’m not gonna do it, because….well, people are nice.

I come to this realization (which will have minimal staying power) because, recently, so many people have said if there’s anything they can do, I should just let them know.

I’ve spent almost two weeks thinking about what can be done for me. Without going into the gory details, an accident sidelined a family member and as word got out, numerous friends and good acquaintances reached out by phone, email and text, and I think everyone signed off by saying if there’s anything you need, if there’s anything they can do, I shouldn’t hesitate.

Someone left a message like that even though they live in South Carolina. Which then makes my life harder because now I’m thinking what can they do from there? They can’t send over a casserole. My laundry was piling up, what was I gonna do? Ask them to throw a load on?

Yes, it’s occurred to you by now that the accident and injuries are all about me. I’ve hijacked the event. Healing and recovery are going well but I’m stuck on all those offers of help.

Do all these kind people really want to do something?  Am I being rude, am I leaving them hanging?  Let me know if there’s anything I can do. Well, I'm out of milk.  You using that time share in Cabo?

It’s like Christmas. All these people asking what I want but I don’t want or need anything. Or I’ll think of something, but it’ll be too late. You can’t ask for a Christmas present at the end of January. Anyway, as I said, the patient is doing great (thanks for asking and nope, I don’t need anything, it hurts me to say).

I’m not sure if this will make you pause next time you want to say, if you need anything just let me know. But I avoid a certain line of inquiry thanks to a friend who registers expressions and words as I do.

Years ago, I was at a wake for this friend’s mother. Realizing that individuals in such moments can carry a burden not fully appreciated by all, I asked my buddy, so how are YOU doing? A big emphasis on the YOU so I’d be clear that I was trying to reach him through the fog of general sadness. He replied, you know how many people have asked me that question? With a slight mimic, he said, how are YOU feeling.

I was devastated (because it’s all about me) and I remain haunted. I wish I’d said, if there’s anything I can do…

 By Kevin Boyle 

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