Ten Helping Hands

by Donna White
Kentucky, USA

Ten Helping Hands

In May of 2003 I was getting ready for my routine walk in the park, and getting my dogs “situated” before leaving. My female dogs do not get along and have to be separated. Due to sheer negligence, I allowed the dogs to get together and a major fight began. While trying to separate the two (who were intent on killing each other), one of them managed to sink her teeth into my leg. Blood was everywhere!

I won’t bother with the details of how I got them separated or the rather comical things I did before heading for the emergency room, except to say that I notified my friend and walking partner, Lindsey. Knowing how long the emergency room might take, and knowing my cleaning lady would walk in later to see blood everywhere, I knew I had to get the blood cleaned up before I did anything else. Lindsey came over to help me clean up. She later checked on my progress in the emergency room and rushed to the pharmacists to get my medicine so I could get home.

After receiving 20 stitches I asked the doctor when I could mow and do yard work — I was concerned about the condition of my late-May yard. He looked at me with disbelief and told me that I had to keep the wounds clean and could not even consider working outside for a week or more.

Later that day several friends gathered for a retirement party, which I was determined to attend. During the festivities, Lindsey, who had overheard my conversation with the doctor, started organizing a group to gather at my house the following day.

My lot is nearly two acres with lots of grass to mow, and more than a few flower beds that need weeding. I overheard what they were planning and told them not to worry about it, that I could get it done, that the weeding could definitely wait another week. My words fell on deaf ears.

They started arriving the next morning: Pat, with her weed eater; Elaine, with her leaf blower; Millicent, with her weed killer; Lindsey and Sandy, ready to hop on the riding mower; all with smiles and enthusiasm. Despite my protests that most of it could wait, they settled me in my den and went out to tackle their self-designated tasks and areas.

Periodically they filed in with red and sweaty faces to take a break and chat with me. When lunchtime arrived, I attempted to at least pay for their meals, but again they would not listen. Indeed, Lindsey brought back a sandwich for me from the spot where they ate, and finished the final rounds with the lawn mower.

I’m constantly reminded of the warmth that I felt surrounding me when they gave up their time to help me. These women are friends I do lots of fun things with, but that day they were elevated to the status of my rescuers.

Originally published as HeroicStories #439 on Aug 28, 2003

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