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Pawnee Annie discovers how to really help others
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How many of you have suffered the sorrow and concern from having learned that a well known member of the community, perhaps a good friend, or even a family member is very ill.
Or who of you has been THE main caregiver for an aged person, a helpless acquaintance, an ill loved one’ or any of a multitude of needy situations?
We all want to give heartfelt help; to be of some help anyway, but don’t have a clue what to do!
Recently, while visiting with Donna, who has been diagnosed with stage 4 cancer, and is a remarkable survivor up to now. I learned that she meets with other Stage 4 cancer friends regularly. They share with each other their joys, sorrows, hopes, and needs.
What is remarkable is that D is a remarkable woman, and that she continues to help and reach out to others in many ways.
In this case, these “Stage 4” individuals have brainstormed and come up with the “how-to-help if you really want to help us” points. I asked her to write down these pointers so I could pass them on to you as she and the group come up with more hints.
Being ill and in pain is debilitating. Often the body can no longer perform the same tasks, no matter how minor, as before. Sometimes the stress from the many demands of the disease is just over the top. There is “nothing” left to do the extra things that life demands.
Many of you are already very thoughtful, however we all want to be much more aware. Here are some suggestions of what you can do to be helpful.
• Buy bottles of water. They are useful for every situation; traveling, working, at home.
• Consider gift cards. Food cards for eating out, (Arby’s, Subway, Pizza Hut, Freddy’s) Dillons cards are a big help; so are meat markets. In Larned, B&B is another creative source for food treats.
• Bottles of lotion — make sure it is fragrance free.
• Snacks for the many trips to treatment. Cheese and Crackers, Chips, gum, suckers.
• Fuzzy socks.
• Offer transportation. Bring along with you water, snacks, a blanket, a pillow.
• Be there on the last day of treatment. Clap for them, have balloons, make signs “You did it!”
• Clean their homes. Offer to vacuum, dust, do dishes, mop floors
• Give a gift certificate for a trip to the Beauty Shop, or Spa.
• Visit him or her if she/he feels up to it.
• Let him/her cry.
• Take meals, but first check to make sure they have room for them. Pick up a pizza and deliver it to them.
• Pump his/her gas while she relaxes. Wash the windshield.
• Give a crossword book or a puzzle book if they can do those kinds of things. A Jigsaw puzzle would work as well.
• Bring paper plates, utensils, cups, napkins for daily use.
• Get together with friends and bring in a holiday dinner with all the trimmings.
Remember this.
None of us can do it all.
None of us can meet all the needs.
But if we join together, we can do a lot. And every bit of encouragement …even the smallest amount…is amplified many times in the mind and soul of the person who is receiving the help.
And last. Pray for them. Pray. I assure you that the recipients of your prayers do feel the peace and comfort of God as well as His love and assurance.
There, now. Let’s go for it!

“Woman’s View” is Judi Tabler’s reflection of her experiences and events. She is a wife, mother, writer, teacher, grandmother, and even a great grandmother.