Tuesday, April 17, 2012

On Disgusting Bugs and Not Being Afraid to Ask for Help

I knew it would happen eventually.

It's one of those tasks that was always squarely in the "Joe" column. I would calmly (although once in a while not so calmly) go in to wherever he was and let him know that something needed his urgent attention in another room. Then, he would go in, check it out, and make an assessment of the situation. Sometimes it would require a chair to stand on. Almost always it would require a cup or tissue or some combination thereof. As much as he could, he would make sure the little invader could go on to live a full life OUTSIDE of our home. It was one of those small things I found especially endearing about Joe.

Today the invader was a stink bug. In my opinion, the worst kind. They are creepy looking, big, and worst of all, they can fly. (Did I mention they can fly?) I shudder even now just writing about it. I was watching TV and getting ready to eat my dinner when out of the corner of my eye, I saw him (I just KNOW it was a him) crawling across the floor. I made no commitment to Joe that I would handle these little invaders with the same mercy as he did so with all the rage of my very long day, I took the rolled up newspaper sitting next to me and smooshed it right into that bug. I REALLY made sure it was dead. I left the newspaper on top of it, not wanting to have to throw it away.

And then I called my mother.

Who would have thought that this was a "first" that would get to me? Killing my first bug since my husband passed? Really?

Through my tears, I could barely explain to my mom what had happened, but she could tell I was upset and offered to come over. Normally, I would have refused, vented for a few minutes, and then gone about my night. However, tonight something inside me recognized that I had reached an internal breaking point and just needed some company and help with a few basic tasks around the house.

The first thing she did when she arrived was dispose of the dead stink bug. (In case you are wondering, even though I smooshed it, it did NOT actually stink.) Then, she threw in a load of laundry. Then, she emptied and re-filled the dishwasher. Then, she watched The Biggest Loser with me. Then, she helped me straighten up around the house (the ridiculous cleaning before the cleaning people come which I still don't understand, but feel compelled to do anyway). She gave me some simple, yet profound advice to just take one thing at a time from my to do list. Then, she went home and took the garbage out to the curb on her way. I needed that so badly and right now I'm just glad I didn't let my ego or my own sadness get in the way of having her come over.

There were two more "bug" incidents while she was here - one crawling on the table and one which landed on my shoulder (neither thankfully were the dreaded stink bugs). The good news is that I "handled" both of them just fine on my own. My bug experience tonight might be a good metaphor for my life right now - some days it's actually healthy and productive for me to get through it on my own and other days I just need to flail my arms around and desperately grab the attention of the nearest helper. I just need to remind myself that both approaches are fine in their own time and circumstance - tonight was a flail my arms around kind of night and maybe tomorrow will be different. But even if it's not, I'm thankful for all those who respond to my flailing arms.

1 comment:

  1. Your mom was being a mom. I get that. And, speaking from my own experience as the mom being the mom to a grown up, it still feels good.