Monday, February 8, 2010

Showing Up

"Ninety percent of life is showing up."  That great  prophet Woody Allen

I come from of long line of folks who show up. When I was a little girl if my sister or I or one of the cousins got sick all of my dad's four sisters would show up. Someone brought boiled custard,

someone relieved my mother so she could take a nap, and someone would set up a schedule for the troops. It was a "Red Tent" support group that was always alert and ready for the next crisis.
Some families are polite, some families are fancy, some families travel together, our family just showed up.
When I got married at 19 they showed up and gave me showers with all of the flourishes as if being a child bride was the normal thing for a  well bred Southern Baptist girl.  In what seemed like a couple of weeks we all got back together and did it over again for the baby shower.  I felt safe, loved  and accepted in an awkward situation.
When daddy was dying last year I went into his bedroom to give him his medicine one night at 3:00 am . I panicked when I realized  he had aspirated fluid and I couldn't roll him over to give him relief. I called my best friend Barbie and said "Hurry I need you!" She showed up in about 4 minutes with her blouse not even buttoned and we got the job done. I felt braver and saner because she showed up.
I heard a speaker tell a story of a group of wealthy American Christian women who were so moved by the stories of devastation to the women of Kosovo after the war that they chartered a plane and flew there to help.
On the flight there they began to realize that in their haste they had not made a plan as to what exactly they would do when they arrived. A little embarrassed and not really knowing the language they came off the plane not sure what to do. It didn't matter you see because the war ravaged women who met them at the end of the ramp had  open arms and cried "You came! You came!"
My girlfriend Diane's husband is dying. The Rock and Roll Mother's (my longest and dearest friends) just showed up at her house today. The Hospice nurse had decided that it was time for Diane's husband to move to the Hospice facility. So there they sat just waiting and sitting and showing up.
Life is so busy and urgent. There are always a zillion reasons to stay on task but I can tell you from experience the most poignant times in my life have been when somebody loved me enough to show up.

1 comment:

  1. Preach, Sister, preach. I've learned in life that anyone can say, "If you need anything, call me", but you're usually just too weary to lift the phone. Thanks be to God for the folks who just show up. You have the gift of knowing when to show up.