Welcome to Blessing Your Someone —
a place to become comfortable and to build confidence in walking alongside your someone during hard times.
I have been playing around with blogging for a few months now, after attending a blogging seminar last fall, hosted by fellow blogger Sam of the Recklessly Alive blog , a blog worth checking out if depression has ever stood on your doorstep; Sam has a way of understanding deeply, yet leading you toward the decision that he made to live, recklessly alive. Blogs can be important communities.
A New Blog
And that leads me to today. I thought I’d introduce myself and this blog, which I have christened Blessing Your Someone.
My heart for this blog is to address the lifelong burden of wishing we would have done something when someone in need crossed our path.
The category menu at the side of this blog is designed for quick access to specific topics. Whenever you would like to meet an immediate need, you can sift through blog topics, find an idea that looks promising, and jump in to do something this time.
However, at its heart this blog is not necessarily designed for crisis management. This is a preventive blog, a place for us to think things through in advance, to encourage one another in stepping out when we see someone in need, to share stories and new ideas. A blog seems a great way to get conversations going and develop a supportive community across the nation and the globe.
Wishing we would have done something has been on my heart because it is something that others have shared with me a heartbreaking number of times. Caring and thoughtful people were beating themselves up after-the-fact, with little direction for the future.
There are many things I have said to people who have regrets…
- Maybe you’ve done more than you realize.
- You cared.
- My husband was tired and not always cooperative with guests anyways.
- We all fall short — our lives are full and complex; neither Shane nor I ever met every need we noticed.
And here, in this blog, I hope to take it one step further. I hope we can build a community of support to share ideas, build confidence, and make one another feel at home in the world of struggling people that is around us.
My husband Shane and I traveled a life journey that brought us close to people in need, from family house fires to a drowning to aging. We have ended up in the ambulance and the nursing home and the funeral parlor, supporting struggling people close to us. We have taken family into our home; we have written the funeral obituaries that no one else felt able to write. We became comfortable around those in need and always felt grateful that we were there, alongside those we cared about.
Then one day, we became the ones in need. My husband’s kidney cancer had thrown us for a loop when he was 34, and it came back with a vengeance when he was 48. We spent 6 years in medical turmoil, not only dealing with cancer but dealing with having no kidneys, since by then both had been covered in cancer and removed.
Shane sending a laptop selfie from his hospital room
One of the small pleasures in dealing with cancer is that you get to see others reaching out; you get to be amazed. People blessed Shane. People blessed me. No, it doesn’t always happen. It can be lonely, and people do have the regrets mentioned above. But when it does happen — when someone does reach out and do something — it confirms that there is a lot of creativity and thoughtfulness and comfort out there in the world.
We also learned about the value of online communities through our CaringBridge site. There, we received virtual hugs from literally around the world. Messages brought us encouragement, ideas to treat new symptoms, and a listening ear over all six years and beyond.
Life, of course, was different once my husband was gone. As has been the case for many widows before me, finding meaning became a core need for getting myself up in the morning.
While searching for meaningfulness, I wondered what I could do with all that I had been through. I was left with so much trivia that no one was asking me about — I know where all the vending machines are located in nearby hospitals; I know how to run a dialysis machine.
Slowly I took notice of what people were asking, what they wanted to share with me, what they worried about. One consistent theme kept showing up:
People were telling me they wish they would have known what to do.
That is something I could work on, something meaningful. Someone would want to know what they might say to someone who is hospitalized a lot, what they might do for them, maybe what they might bring.
And then, what about all the other struggles in life that we had seen over the years? Losing a home, Those could be a part of the same conversation.
It’s all about developing the confidence that we can do something.
The First Steps Forward
I spent some time thinking through how to address many needs and many solutions all at the same time, and I decided on Blessing Your Someone. See my earlier blogs:
I then began compiling stories of things real people have done, stories that could help others visualize what reaching out could look like. I added stories from the inside, sharing what we learned once we were the ones in need, to make people comfortable and build confidence.
I realized that the middle of a crisis might not be the best place to talk through ideas and perspectives. So I wondered:
What would encourage people to take the time before a crisis to sift through ideas and find what really suits their lives, their personalities, and those they are likely to want to bless?
Fast forward, and a blog emerged as the perfect setting to start these conversations.
I am excited to share and to learn and to hear more stories from all of you, as well as being open to questions from those just starting to expand their comfort zone, hoping to build stories of success rather than regret.
Welcome to the blog’s beginning. Join in the conversation. Share with friends. Visit often and hit buttons on all the pages — like, comment, share. Those help bring our conversations up higher on search engine results, so others will find us.
Let’s all brainstorm and report back on our successes and talk through the places where we got stuck. By hearing different voices and thinking through different situations on a regular basis, a plan can begin to sift into place, a realistic plan that suits who you are and those special someones who tend to cross your path. Later when a crisis does come up, you will know where to look and what blog conversations you want to review.
Blessing Your Someone
A place to become comfortable and to build confidence in walking alongside your someone during hard times