07 Mar 2016

The Helpers

Beloved TV personality and one time Nantucket summer resident, Mr Fred Rogers, had profound advice from his mother on dealing with life’s difficulties. “Look for the helpers,” she said. “You will always find people who are helping.” Mr. Rogers went on to point out that when you find the helpers you will know there is hope.
Our family found ourselves looking desperately for the helpers a couple weeks ago when my father-in-law passed away suddenly. With equilibrium rattled and grief weighing heavily, dad’s four children and thirteen of his grandchildren did what he spent a lifetime teaching them to do – they rallied. As our son pointed out on our first day home in Iowa, these times can bring out the best in people…and the worst in people. It was a proud moment to watch a family unite together in love to bring out the best in each other. How true it is that a rising tide lifts all boats.
Beyond the family, there were unexpected “helpers” that surfaced. The neighbor who had platters of food delivered to nourish us, the long-time family friend who labored alongside us each day organizing, cleaning and packing. Then there were the two Packaging Store employees both named John. As we descended on John and John with carloads of grandpa’s belongings needing shipped to kids and grandkids from coast to coast, they smiled consistently, expressed genuine sympathy and worked during breaks and lunch hours to pack all the items. John #1 told our daughter, whose packages included a full set of her grandmother’s fine china, that he would treat each teacup and salt shaker as if it belonged to his own grandmother. These fellas stepped in to our story, shared our burden and brightened each day. Helpers indeed.
You don’t have to look far on Nantucket to find the helpers. At our own local UPS packaging store, Michael and his team of people thoughtfully attend to each shipment. Wayne and Laura from the Frame Center treat each family portrait and artists painting as if it were their own. Our Island Home has an army of volunteers who selflessly show up to spread sunshine to the residents. Others quietly deliver Meals on Wheels, drive neighbors to doctor appointments or simply offer a helping hand to someone in the crosswalk.
As you go about your days on Nantucket, be looking for the helpers. When you spot them, they will give you hope. By the way, all those packages shipped coast to coast arrived without a single broken or damaged item. A little extra TLC and a sincere desire to help really does make a difference in someone else’s story.
Help Wanted
Shellie Dunlap
Related Posts
  • 26 Apr 2011 Nantucket Historic Properties Timeless Nantucket’s Oldest House – 1686 Clich An oldie but a goodie. Definition 1. Something from the past that makes you feel good. I have a confession to make. I’m one of those spoiled baby boomers who LOVES new stuff. A new sweater or a new pair of shoes makes me a happy girl. When... Continue Reading
  • 28 Jul 2011 Fine Dining on Nantucket Remember the Stouffer’s commercial from the 80’s where the husband sits in awe at the head of his beautifully adorned dining room table “So this is the dining room” he quips as his wife serves the Stouffer’s meal on the fine china. We all chuckled because we could relate. It seemed our days gathered around... Continue Reading