"Why did you help me?" she asked.
"You were in my path," he replied.
Those were the words uttered by the main characters in a movie I recently watched called, Land. More than anything else in the film, that snippet of conversation struck me, triggered me into thinking about everyone who has helped me survive and thrive in this life, particularly since Calvin's arrival.
Countless people whose paths I've crossed came to mind—everyone from my husband and extended family to my childhood and college friends, teammates, and the swimmers I coached way back when. I thought of former boyfriends, colleagues, roomies and besties from Seattle, San Francisco and Maine. I considered my husband's colleagues and former students, Calvin's doctors and nurses, our lovely neighbors, and the clerks at the grocery store. As I write this I think of the friendly strangers I've encountered by way of this ten-year-old blog, and while driving the back roads during the pandemic. Every single one has helped me get through this difficult life of raising a disabled child with an impossible, chronic condition.
Perhaps it was you who held my elbow or hand while I laughed, wept or wailed. You might have silently listened to me grieve. You may have offered to do my shopping, cooked us meals or left goodies on the doorstep. Perhaps you've brought me flowers, written me kind and loving sentiments in a hand- or type-written letter, email, message or text. You might have hugged the breath out of me just when I needed it most. You may have unwittingly buoyed me in the fleeting moment you ran, skated, strolled, drove or biked past.
And then, of course, there is Calvin, my peculiar little boy who has helped me—bettered me (mostly)—in myriad and indescribable ways.
In return, I certainly hope I've helped you, friends, loved ones and readers, in some small ways, if only by a few written words or by something as simple as a photo of a field full of dandelions dipping into the bay.