Monday, January 25, 2016

With a Little Help from My Friends

by Linda Rodriguez

The last year or so has been difficult at times for me with major health problems and serious illnesses and deaths of relatives and close friends. I have managed to come through it and meet deadlines and keep commitments primarily because of my family and friends.

There were those who came by with casseroles while I was going through surgeries and some bad side effects of them. Some people even went to the trouble to send me food from far away. A student in one of my online classes, who’s become a good friend, sent me big coolers of frozen tamales from the best tamale place in Tucson twice just as I returned from hearing bad results on pathology tests. Others sent me lovely cheerful flowers and Amazon gift cards so I’d have something fun to read while going through the whole mess. I can’t begin to tell you how much such thoughtfulness means when the bottom has fallen out of your world.

I’m not a person who wants visitors when I’m sick or hurt. I’m like an animal who wants to curl up in my cave and heal all by myself, but the cards and emails and Facebook messages were encouraging and healing. I was truly grateful for all of them, even when I didn’t have the energy or strength to see anyone but my dear, patient husband and my youngest son, who arrived home from graduate school in time to help take care of Mom through the cancer surgeries and aftermath. What fun!

Then there were the folks who picked up the slack for me. Here on this blog and on the other group blog to which I belong, The Stiletto Gang, other members wrote substitute blogs, posted blogs for me, and took up a good chunk of my load. On The Stiletto Gang blog, I was the de facto blog administrator, and several good friends on the blog pitched in to help with those duties. Now, there are four of us admins, which is all for the best. On Writers Who Kill, our blog admin, Elaine, took over my blogging time while I couldn’t manage it, and the other members have been patient when I’ve not been able to give critique on all the blogs before they go out into the world. (Fortunately, everyone on this blog writes so well that they don’t ever need much editing.)

Because of the generosity of all these people, I’m still blogging on both group blogs, as well as my own, and I have come through the worst of times in pretty darn good shape. As I head into a year that I hope will be a much better, happier time, I find myself overcome with gratitude for all the good friends who stepped in to help—in one way or another—when I needed it most.

Like The Beatles, I get by with a little help from my friends.


  1. You have faced many difficulties and managed them quite well. I hope this year will be a good one for you.

  2. For some of us independent types, it is a difficult lesson to learn that accepting the kindness of friends and strangers does not make us less worthy. Graciously and thankfully accepting such gifts builds and strengthens connections between us and the world and helps lift all involved in the process.

    Wishing you the best for 2016.

    ~ Jim

  3. Oh Linda, what a year! Here's hoping 2016 will be better, in fact, here's hoping 2016 will make up for the awfulness of 2015.

  4. 2016 is going to be a better year for us all, political robocalls notwithstanding. It's a leap year, and the five planets are lined up in the pre-dawn sky.

  5. Linda, you have faced it with grace. I do hope this year is going to be "pretty darn good" for you!

  6. Linda, I am so impressed with how you've handled all the hardships you've faced with not much of "a poor little me" attitude, even though it would probably be what most of us would feel. All the friends and family who rallied around for you shows what a special person you are.
    May this coming year have nothing but good things happening for you.

  7. Thank you all for your kind comments. I could never have done it without so much help and understanding from all of you.

    Margaret, I sure hope you're right about the new year!

  8. Hugs for the helpers, and for those who accept help. During my mother's final illness, my students propped me up and kept me going. When I thanked one particularly kind young woman, she said, "Do you remember last year, when you helped me? Now it's your turn." Here's for a better year for all <3

  9. The difficulties just seem to keep coming for you and your family, Linda. It's amazing how you manage to deal with all of them, and keep going. Your fortitude and bravery are an inspiration to all of us.

    I hope 2016 is a much better year for you.

  10. Thanks, KM! We just keep chugging along because the other options aren't things we're willing to deal with.

  11. Forgive my lack of participation. After 30 inches of snow, we've been digging out.
    Linda, you not only bore your trials well, you helped me teaching a class when another instructor could no longer do so. Thank you so much. I don't know how you do all that you do. Grace under pressure is an understatement as applied to you! We're all hoping 2016 holds accomplishment and joy.