First of all, let me say what I think a support person is. It is a person to whom you can go to gain reinforcement and strength. There can be general support people that you go to for any type of support or specific ones that you go to for a particular type of support. For example, frustration with kids or work. Are these people friends? Yes, a support person is a special class of friend, just like work friends, neighbor friends, and family friends. They are not better or worse friends, but friends with an additional facet. This means that a support person can be a work, neighbor, or family friend. So, what about my support people?
A conversation a week ago with my 11-year old son:
Me, “Son, have you done your reading for the day?”
Me, “So you have read what you are supposed to?” I need to emphasize because sometimes he doesn’t really listen.
Me, “So, you are done with all the reading you have to do for today?” He also likes to find loopholes in what you are asking, so I added the catchall word “all” this time.
Son, “Yes, I read a chapter.” To finish a big book by a certain date, he needs to read a chapter a day.
Me, “Well, why don’t you read another chapter?” This is one of those teaching moments and I ma going to try to take advantage of it.
Son, “Oh, I don’t want to.”
Me, “Why don’t you get a chapter or two ahead? Why do you just want to do the minimum? If you get some extra chapters done, then if you miss a day, you won’t be behind. Or, if you don’t’ want to read one day, you will be OK instead of trying to catch up. You don’t need to always do things at the minimum.” I am hoping to teach him to not just get by and also to kind of build up or be prepared for the future. “If you read a little extra when you can, you might even be done early, maybe a lot earlier, and then you will have this out of your way?”
A day later, I am chatting with my wife before bed and she said that my son had said to her about this situation, “Why can’t dad give it a rest?!” Well, I try to learn from my kids because they have interesting viewpoints and just get to the point, so what message is here for me?
A family in my neighborhood had a son that committed suicide last week. I had the unfortunate opportunity to go to the viewing and express my sorrow for their loss. As anyone that knows me very well is aware, I do not deal with death situations well. I don’t know what to say to people. I get overwhelmed by my emotions so the bereaved almost need to comfort me. This can even happen if I don’t know the deceased or the family of the deceased that well. I really am weird. I think part of the difficulty is the permanence of death, at least for this life. It is hard for me to get how death is good. However, despite my difficulties, I know they are trivial compared to the sorrow that those closest to the deceased go through, so I make it a point to always do whatever I can to help. I go to viewings and funerals and try to act as normal as I can.
So, as I was at the viewing and trying to do my best last week, I ran into many of my current and past neighbors. It was good to see them, unfortunately under sad circumstances, and I was touched by what I saw.