Our real life storm lately has been our baby’s diagnosis with Type 1 diabetes. And although this ‘storm’ isn’t our first and most certainly won’t be our last, it did bring to mind how I need to be more mindful to care for others who might be facing their own storm.
The strangest thing about being in the eye of the storm has been watching everyone else continue on with their life as normal. I’ve heard a friend of mine describe this same feeling where it’s almost like you are alone and watching the rest of the world go ’round. In this solitary time we have been immensely blessed by several family members, friends, and parishioners and I thought I would share some ways that you can care for someone going through a trial of their own.
1) Pray and have Masses offered. Not only pray but also let your friend know that you are praying for them. Have Masses offered in your friend’s name.
2) Communicate. Some of the biggest joys that we encountered in our daily struggles have been calls, texts, visits, and notes in the mail. The saying “it’s the little things in life” is so very true on a hard day.
3) Take meals. One of our homeschool mamas organized a meal train for us and it was such a relief to not have to think about feeding everyone that first week home from the hospital. She used an amazing free web service www.mealtrain.com. Don’t forget to drop off paper plates as well!
4) Offer to help. Does the trash need taken out? The grass mowed? The kids dropped off at an activity? Ask your friend if you can take care of one of these tasks or hire it out for them.
5) Share a good book. One of my spiritual mothers shared this devotional book and I have been immensely thankful. This little booklet has brought me words in prayer when they would not come on their own.
6) Drop off a goody bag for the family (or mail them a package). Small bags of treats or stickers for the kids, chocolate for Mom and Dad, and a note bring light to a dark day. The children appreciate this the most because it gives them a surprise during a time when they aren’t getting as much attention as usual.
7) Don’t forget to check in. If you haven’t heard from your friend that is in the eye of the storm in a while it would be a great time to call or send a message. Usually after the first month the initial support wanes and continued contact is more important than ever.
And if you happen to be weathering your own storm here is my prayer for you today:
Our Mother of Sorrows, with strength from above you stood by the cross, sharing in the sufferings of Jesus,
and with tender care you bore Him in your arms, mourning and weeping.
We praise you for your faith, which accepted the life God planned for you.
We praise you for your hope, which trusted that God would do great things in you.
We praise you for your love in bearing with Jesus the sorrows of His passion.
Holy Mary, may we follow your example, and stand by all your children who need comfort and love.
Mother of God, stand by us in our trials and care for us in our many needs.
Pray for us now and at the hour of our death.