Please Don't Forget Those Whose 'Bandages' Are Invisible

I have never broken a bone, but I have witnessed the pain of many broken bones. Each break required large casts and some required surgery in addition to the casts. All of these breaks required healing and help. There were many hands to help, many calls from far and wide offering wishes for a fast recovery.

As soon as we see distress we stop and we offer our help. It is the thing that makes us human. The thing that is so beautiful about loving another person. The simple act of caring for one who is broken.

It is hard to help when bones are broken, adjusting to the challenge of hands, arms and legs not working. There is the cutting of clothes to accommodate the casts that house the broken bones. The simple act of bathing and dressing becomes a logistical nightmare. There is a weightiness to it all, a physical and psychological weightiness. It all requires lifting.

And what do we do when it is our hearts that are broken? Not just medically but emotionally broken. Even then there are hands to help. Arms to hug and hands to hold. Friends to carry in bottles of wine and pints of ice cream. They remove the haunted things in your line of vision to help your broken heart heal a little bit faster.

But what do we do when the illness requires no bandages and our broken hearts are part of our lives? How do we ask for help when we would be asking for a lifetime of help? Asking for an endless revolving door of offerings? That simply feels too selfish to ask for.

So I ask that you remember the broken bones you once healed from, the broken heart that lead you to the love of your life. Remember the pain you felt in that moment and know that some people are never gifted the beauty of a cast or the pain of a breakup in order to ask for your love and help. Some people are simply given the unbearable and asked to bear it because to do anything less would be to give up on themselves or their children.

Love your neighbor, love your child, love yourself. Always remember that everyone wears a bandage that is invisible. It may be from childhood or from breakfast this morning, but it is there and your kindness today will make it all a little less painful.

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