Over the recent holidays, my mother dug out a bag full of letters that my sister wrote home more than 25 years ago from college. While my sister read through some of those old memories, she found a couple of letters that she didn’t remember writing. Then she announced: “This is from you, Scott!”
I tried to picture the young man who may have once penned the words while she read aloud…
How i$ everything with you? Thing$ have been rough on my end. I want you to take a moment to con$ider what’$ on my mind. But plea$e don’t worry about me. I haven’t had a haircut $ince 1985, my clothe$ are $o dirty I’ve found them trying to jump in the $hower, and I can’t afford the cough drop$ that might alleviate the pain from my $trep throat. But that’$ okay. My roommate i$ pre-med, and he a$$ure$ that the wor$t that can happen if my $trep throat goe$ untreated i$ that I may become $terile. I’m $ure Mike and Donna will be able to give you grandkid$, though, so plea$e, don’t worry about me…
A couple of things came to mind after I was done laughing at myself.
First of all, money is nice and necessary. Who hasn’t dreamed of finding a sugar-daddy or sugar-momma, or maybe becoming the recipient of a fat trust-fund or inheritance? Yeah, money is the grease that lubricates many opportunities in life. But when money becomes the goal instead of a tool to achieve our goals, it’s like the tail wagging the dog. My parents offered me support and love; yet when I wrote home, I asked for something more fleeting. In hindsight, I most appreciate the love they offered me more than any cash they sent my way while I was on my “death bed” in college.
Second, it’s sometimes easier to use humor or deflection when asking for help instead of simply asking for help. When people love you and care for you, they want to help you. They want to give you every good thing they have at their disposal. As long as you’re not always needy, always asking, or asking because you refuse to do for yourself, just ask for help. Humility is not the same as weakness. Asking for help can demonstrate that you value others enough to have needs and to acknowledge that you can’t do it all alone.
Third, I’m pretty sure I made up the strep throat/sterility connection. My roommate was pre-med, that much was true. But he wasn’t the brightest candle on the cake.
What do you most want and need from the people in your life who care about you? Isn’t their unconditional regard and love worth more than money or material gifts? If you could tell them without embarrassment or shame what it is that you love about them, what would you say?