It's All About the Little Things

Last updated: July 2019

One of the things that helped my daughter, Crystal, feel special, loved, and was such a huge comfort to her through a very difficult time was all the support she received from so many. Most of the people weren’t even family or friends. These were people she didn’t know. Crystal works at a TV station and when she left, so many people reached out to her. Some of the viewers sent her cards, well wishes, gifts, emails, and texts. It was heartwarming to me because she enjoyed this so much, and it really picked up her spirits on bad days.

The value of little gestures

She couldn’t leave the house for at least a week at a time and she felt so isolated. It broke my heart to watch her have to go through this. Looking back, I wish I would have done something special for her. I was so wrapped up in making sure she got to her appointments, getting her food, laundry, etc., that I didn’t think about the little things that would have made a huge impact on her. It’s usually the little extras that count the most. I didn’t do that and it’s one of the regrets I have.

Of course, it’s not necessary, but I believe it would have helped her through some of the other difficult times she had. I was so happy for all of the compassion so many people showed my daughter. They couldn’t possibly know how much happiness and joy they brought to someone through their heartfelt gestures.

Providing emotional support

I’m a very private person and I don’t share a lot personally. I think this is a mistake and I’m trying to think differently about letting people in. Belonging and emotional support is part of the healing process and so very important when you have cancer. I was lucky enough to have seen first hand the generosity of people. Everyone wants to help and, if you give them the chance, they will. We all know how it feels to help someone. Allowing someone to help us is beneficial to both of us and them. If you get sick, let people in. They want to be there for you and help in whatever way they can. You will need the help, so don’t be a hero.

I can’t speak first hand about this, at least not yet, but I can say that it made the world of difference to Crystal. She felt really good whenever someone reached out to her. Before she got sick, she had just gotten a different job and was new to the area where her job was located. Sharing her story and getting so much support helped her to feel as though she was part of the community. This feeling has lasted even until today, a year after her treatments have stopped and she was diagnosed as cancer-free. The healing process requires love and support.

Some words of advice

If you think about it, do something nice for the person you’re taking care of, or for someone else going through a hardship. It will make you both feel good. And, if you’re in need of a little help, remember, all you have to do is ask and, most of the time, you shall receive.

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