“In the end, only kindness matters.”
– Jewel, Hands
In the summer I live in a tiny town in Washington State along the Canadian border. The Canadian/US border is closed for the foreseeable future. Many of us living in this border town are separated from our usual support system of friends and family.
Back in June I stopped to talk with a young woman pushing a stroller with twin girls. The girls were almost a year old and Tess was expecting another set of twins in October. “Sounds like you might need some help from an Aunty,” I said. She accepted my offer gratefully.
I joined Tess for her two hour walks a few times to get to know her and the girls. When she was further along in her pregnancy Tess found it difficult to walk. We needed reinforcements, so I created The Aunty Group and asked two other women to come on board to help Tess in whatever way she needed (the photo is Aunty Karen). Aunty Isobel can’t travel to Holland to see her twin grandchildren and was happy to lend a hand.
In a recent post of goodnewsmovement on Instagram a lonely 75-year-old British man, Tony Williams, who lost his wife put up a sign outside his home in hopes of making a friend: “I have no friends or family. No one to talk to. I find the unremitting silence 24 hours a day unbearable torture. Can no one help me?” Word spread and his phone is ringing non-stop and emails are coming in from around the world.
In a birthday text to me Tess said: “It’s a beautiful day for an even more beautiful lady, with a heart of gold and an angels spirit. Thank you for touching my life in such a profoundly meaningful way. You have helped me establish a village for my babies, something I always wanted for them and myself, but never knew how to begin. I’m grateful for our Aunties every day.”
We have the chance to create community and connection in a disconnected time.
Often we don’t know how to help, or don’t want to interfere, or overstep any boundaries.
If you need help, it’s brave to ask for it.
If you’re offered help, it’s brave to receive it.
If you can give help, it’s brave to step up and offer it.