Needing help

Photo: Gerald Gabernig via Flickr

Someone I love dearly is having surgery today.

You were probably starting your day by thinking about what happened 17 years ago. I will be starting my day thinking about what will happen this afternoon.

I am a very public person in my professional life, and a very private person in my family life. So it feels strange to share this with you. Still . . . we have a relationship.

Writers and readers share something important — meaning passes between them. I know you are there. I can feel you. Whether you comment here or share this on Facebook or not, I know you’re there. (I can see you in the server logs.)

Just knowing you are there connecting with me from day to day means I know you feel this — even if our relationship is just because you subscribe to my updates on writing, on politics, on living.

Pray if you want, that’s not my business.

But do me this little favor.

Think about someone close to you who is hurting. Maybe it’s someone you’re a little afraid to connect with. Maybe she’s two cubes over. Or maybe you went to high school with him. But you know they’re hurting. And it’s a little scary, because those emotions are scary, even if someone else is having them.

Just stop by or connect. “How are you doing?” “Do you want to go get a cup of coffee?” “How’s your mom; that must be pretty rough.”

Just be there.

If you’re reading this, it would make me feel better to know you are doing this.

We’ll be fine, and you’re helping already just by reading this. Honestly, just give a friend a hand.

It would mean a lot to me.

Edit: My son’s surgery went well and he’s home with us now. Thanks to everyone reading this for your support, it made a big difference.

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  1. Thank you for writing this segment and sharing your humanity with us. I, too, hope the best possible outcome will occur. You help us realize we all have these moments of fragility and vulnerablility; when we experience these feelings, having another person’s kindness means a lot.

  2. Your work sure helps me! I share it with others from time to time & they say it helps them too. Will think about this today & see if there is someone who may just need to know he or she isn’t alone. 🙂

  3. My son. with whom I often share your posts, is having major surgery tomorrow. I will now keep both him and your loved one in my thoughts for successful outcomes and speedy recoveries. Stay strong.

  4. You and yours are in my thoughts and in my prayers. I’ll reach out to several someones as soon as the chills you’ve sent pass.

  5. Thinking of you and yours. Remember, your tribe is the group of peeps who support and nurture you – good times and scary ones. May the day be as peaceful as possible.

  6. Thinking of you and all who matter to you. Wishing you peace and hoping you witness a recovery that exceeds all expectations.

  7. Josh, your posts seem to always be timely. I too have a friend who will have a surgery in the next few weeks, and I am doing everything I can to be there.

    My thoughts are with you today. Wishing you the best.

  8. I’m an atheist so I don’t pray– but I am sending you heart-felt wishes for the best outcome for your loved one. And I habitually reach out to others, so I’ve definitely passed on some warm support.,-)

  9. In my life and my tradition, this time of year is one of introspection and new beginnings, a time for examining relationships and seeking to improve them. May it be for you and your loved one a time of healing and peace.

  10. We throw around jargon like B2C a d B2B, but all writing is really about making connections between human beings. Thanks for reminding us of that, Josh. I’m praying for your loved one.

  11. I read your blog regularly. I’ve never written a comment or response. Today is a good day to do it, and thank you for helping me be better. You, and your loved one deserve the best outcome possible.

  12. I met you briefly at Inbound last week and this is my first time visiting your blog. I went through a series of surgeries last year and the ups and downs of a year long recovery. Your post is poinant indeed. Hope all goes well with the surgery, and I know your loved one will be comforted knowing that you will be there for them on good days and on days of struggle.

  13. Have been helping a friend with Parkinson’s, severe glaucoma, two recent hip surgeries and some short term memory loss. Moved her into Memory Care this weekend, and have been visiting to help her get settled. Reaching out to others is, to me, part of the reason for existing. Best wishes for surgery and recovery for your dear one, and know that many are thinking of you. Thank you so much for sharing this information and I sincerely hope it starts a chain of people reaching out to others. With love, Ann

  14. I hope it goes well for the person close to you, and that it goes well for you as well. This is miserable for everyone–in part because you and yours have so little power or control over what happens. You have my understanding and sympathy.

  15. I hope everything goes well.
    I read your blog everyday, it helps me as a non-native English speaker.
    Thank you for sharing this.

  16. I will do that, Josh. Thank you for sharing all you do in showing me how to clearly present my authentic self. I send prayers and positive thoughts.

  17. My strongest possible positive thoughts are going your way Josh .. you are an amazing person and I hope the surgery went well!!

  18. I’m amazed by this outpouring of support. You are all very kind and generous.

    Some days I wonder who’s reading this stuff. This is not one of those days.

    I’m grateful, and your comments made a difference. Over 500 people read this post — that made a difference, too.

    My son is back at home with us now and everything went as planned. We all have expectations of a full recovery.

  19. I first saw this post a few minutes ago. Thank you for demonstrating the courage to reach out for support. I’m glad your son experienced a fruitful surgery. Peace be upon ye and your family.

  20. Glad to hear all went well, and wishing your son a full recovery. Thank you for this post – it was a much-needed dose of humanity on a stressful day.