Wednesday, September 12, 2012

I get by with a little help from my friends

I don't mean my regular friends, who of course have helped me immeasurably.

I'm talking about my neighborhood acquaintances, who offer help in ways that make me feel extra cared for.

For example:

Yesterday I went to our local deli, Tailgate Picnic, looking for something for lunch because I didn't feel like eating anything in the house. I stood at the counter indecisively and asked Alicia Magri, who owns the deli with husband Jack, what was good if you're trying to gain weight.

"Are you hungry?" she asked. "Not really," I replied.

"Give her the chicken stew," she told the girl working at the counter. She also said I should try Ensure, which has helped Jack, who had a brain tumor, put on weight after surgery. Jack got into the conversation and went into the back to get two bottles of Ensure, which he said to take back home (free) and try. Mary, Alicia's sister, said I should mix it with ice cream and make a shake. Anna, at the cash register, chimed in and said I should drink a lot of milk.

Well, the chicken stew was delicious and the Ensure not so much, but I felt good about this group of people – who all know my story just as I know theirs – doing their little bit to look after me.

It goes both ways. After Jack came out of the hospital, we talked about how crummy you can feel when you first return to work. He said at the time that he was having trouble eating, so I brought him one of the smoothies that had been working for me.

And then there is Wayne Gilbert, the carpenter, who is in the midst of fixing some little things I saw, and who also fixes the things I don't see.

A few months ago, I heard hammering and came downstairs to find Wayne, who had noticed something that needed to be fixed and had just stopped by to take care of it (free). Obviously I see the big things, but having grown up in an apartment where you just call the super, and being divorced from someone who knew how to manage the property, I sometimes don't see the big picture. It's reassuring to know that someone else is looking at it for me.

Anne, who owns the bed and breakfast across the street, says to come on over and pick the hydrangeas that turn pretty shades of pink at this time of year. She has a couple of really big flower bushes. Sometimes we chat. My mother started this tradition, talking to Anne and clipping the hydrangeas that she said cost a ton of money in New York. The hydrangeas provide a different kind of nourishment.

1 comment:

Nelle said...

How wonderful that you have these people there. I am surprised they weren't pushing Ensure in the hospital for you. I had one on every tray I received and when I was eating almost nothing they put two. I didn't like the flavors but found they worked better as milkshakes and that the chocolate were better. They really do help you gain weight.