Dirty Drawers and Caring Colleagues

Sometimes you have to let go of the dirty drawers and allow your caring colleagues to minister to you!

Sometimes you have to let go of the dirty drawers and allow your caring colleagues to minister to you!

I sank down in the midst of the piles of neatly folded and partially sorted laundry that was spread around the living room floor and began to cry.

Who knew it would come to this?  Me, who’d always been the caregiver, the rescuer, the one to jump in and help.  I was the one who struggled over being a working mom because I wanted to give my kids 100%, and I struggled over having three children because I wanted to give my students 100%.  Now, here I was after a week and a half emergency stay in the hospital with my boy, finding that a friend and co-worker had cleaned my filthy bathroom and washed, dried, folded and sorted our family’s laundry.  My husband was her boss, and now she had folded our underwear!  Something just wasn’t right about that!

Tears trickled down my cheeks because I felt like a failure.  I couldn’t’ keep up with everything right now!  Automatically my hands moved to sort the girls’ undies into the right piles and moved the socks into piles.  With each shifting movement, my tears dried a little more.  I stood up and gathered an armload and headed to the girls’ room.  They were quietly sleeping, not even noticing how late I’d gotten home because my friend had been there with them.  The next load went into my son’s room.  It was tiny pile; leftovers from before we knew he was sick.  I carefully placed the items in his dresser and looking around his empty room, I prayed yet again for his healing and soon return home.

The next load went to our room.  Putting away my husband’s clothes I thought about how little we’d seen of each other.  One of us was in the hospital and the other of us was with the girls; and then we switched.  I thanked God for a loving partner in this whole uninvited cancer thing.

My steps retraced to the living room, now cleared of the piles my friend and co-worker had folded.  The room was clean and the house quietly settled for the night.

I looked around, feeling peace for the first time in weeks. “I’m not a failure.”  I whispered into the silence, “and I’ve got people who care and support.  It’s okay if they fold my laundry.”

What an unexpected blessing!

Sometimes you have to let go of the dirty drawers and allow your caring colleagues to minister to you! #write31days via @caregivermom Click To Tweet

Read more of the series 31 Days of Unexpected Blessings from Caregiving.


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  • This is a lesson that blindness is teaching me. After years of being a caregiver my blindness combined with my other physical issues has me as the one who needs help. It is HARD. And it is a blessing. Thank you for this; I needed to read it today.
    Shelby recently posted…Embracing Needing HelpMy Profile

  • I felt like crying with you because your feelings are so real and I understand what that feels like. I have never been good at asking for help from others because I’m the mom and we always have it figured out, right? What a humbling experience for you and a gentle way for God to remind you He’s got this!
    Mary Geisen recently posted…Bloom Where You Are ~ Day 13My Profile

  • This is beautiful –and so hard for us to do, right? To accept help that we don’t want to even admit that we need? But oh for the love… bless the ones who see the need and pitch in to help anyway… who are determined to love and to lift our arms when we are weary in the battles! Great post, Carol!
    ~Karrilee~ recently posted…31 Days of Truths… Grace (for me) – DAY THIRTEENMy Profile

  • What a hard time. And what a blessing to have such folks in your life. You are not a failure, but a strong woman to accept that help. Sending you hugs.
    susan recently posted…Finding Laughter: Laughter Yoga (Day 13)My Profile

  • Sometimes it is a hard place to be in – I’d much rather take care of my own things and have other people take care of theirs. But we’ve been in that position before, mainly when I had a spinal virus and couldn’t walk on my own for months. It was such a blessing that people brought meals over and cleaned my bathroom floors and such, and when I have been able to do something tangible to support and care for others in a time of need, I feel blessed as well.
    Barbara H. recently posted…31 Days With Elisabeth Elliot: On Asking God WhyMy Profile

  • If we don’t accept help now and then, we deny those who care about us and want to help, the opportunity to share with us. Thank you for sharing this vulnerable moment. It’s a good reminder for all of us, fellow 31 dayer!
    Julie recently posted…Ode to TammyMy Profile

  • This makes me teary. My cousin’s baby turned 1 month today… he still has not left the hospital after one open-heart surgery and may be facing another. I pray that she is learning to accept help where she needs it, just like it seems you did. Thank you for sharing. It’s a small comfort to know that others have walked this kind of path and come out on the other side.
    Sarah recently posted…day 13: long after “I Do”My Profile

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