Some people just know what to do.
At 52, I'm starting to learn what it takes to be a really good person.
Don't get me wrong, I think I've been doing alright until now. I say my "please" and "thank yous", will hold the door for someone coming behind me, and tell a stranger when their shirt label is sticking out.
Believe me, I'm always grateful when someone does that for me.
But what I witnessed over the last few years in my own life has taught me what it really means to step-up.
When my husband was diagnosed with a terminal disease and our lives were turned upside down, friends, neighbours and family went ahead and just did things for us.
No instructions. No one waited for our cue.
They brought over hot meals and dropped them off on the porch, offered to give us drives to appointments and even to watch Adam at home so I could have some time out for myself.
The idea of having people "babysit" him made him crazy but as his health deteriorated and he was unable to do more independently, having people sit with him became a godsend for me and saved my sanity.
Growing up, the conventional wisdom had me believe that you waited for the person in need to let you know when they needed you. What I've learned though is that they often won't ask for help.
So all of those years when a friend or someone in the family was suffering, they often did it in silence with little to no outside help around them. How heartbreaking.
All because we waited for them to let us know.
It wasn't until I felt the difference it made when people just showed up for us. And then the lightbulb went off in my head.
So as they say, it's never too late to learn and to grow.
I promise to do better from now on. To be more helpful, giving and empathetic.
For my birthday this past weekend, there was a steady stream of deliveries and people to visit at the door or on the driveway. Balloons, goodies and flowers to fill a nursery.
It was my first birthday without my birthday twin - my husband. My first as a widow. And as a single parent.
People must have anticipated that it would be a tough day - and so they came.
Even with COVID regulations, it was one of the best weekends I have ever had for my birthday.
If I hadn't had all of that attention, I probably would have been ok. But, it was awesome to experience it and feel that much love around me.