"When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, 'Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.'"
Here's to the ones who look my red, puffy eyes full on: the ones who listen for the words I can't string together beneath the broken-up ones I can. The ones who have been there and say so. The ones who promise: "If I don't answer but you really, really need me, call again right away, and I'll drop everything." The ones who say: "3 AM is a fine time to call," and--over and over--things like: "God really loves you. I love you. I believe you, and I believe in you and in who you're becoming. You're worth it. I pick you. You're doing a great job." The ones who hug me and hold my hands, take me to lunch, show up with turkey-and-avacado sandwiches and homemade rolls and Dr. Pepper and whole milk. The ones who wash my dishes and sweep my dining-room floor and rock my babies. The ones who assist with my crazy projects and accompany me on my missions impossible. The ones who try to unlock my doors, rescue me (or plow me out) after it snows, and can hardly wait to present me with giant bags of flour. The ones who help me figure it all out by talking it all out. The ones who share their families. The ones who forgive and teach me. The ones who peel back the covers of their own beds and tuck me under. The ones who talk about what we will do together next week and in three months and when we are very, very old. The ones who cheer me on, and pray for me: hard.
The ones who stand behind me when--every once in a great-great while--I get in a swift kick to the devil's ass.
The ones who make me cry in knowing: I am Dorothy when the Wicked Witch says: "Curses, curses! Somebody always helps that girl!"