Well, this past week I was looking down into the holler toward Webb’s Creek thinking about how things aren’t so heavy when someone is helping. A few months back I bought a skinny screen TV so I had to rid myself of one of those solid wood, big-tubed bulky monsters. I tried lifting it up and even thought of using an old dolly I have in storage, but common sense won and I shoved it to the side of the room. The new fancy thin TV worked great, but it created a massive decor dilemma in the lower level of our log cabin. Jeff Foxworthy, comedian, once commented about folks in the south who use old TV’s for end tables and now I was included in that red-necked group. I covered it with a camping blanket and put a candle on it.
My wife and Supreme Commander of Home Décor, lost her patience after about four months and issued an order. It would have been a much shorter grace period, but she had other distractions. I removed the candle and decorative camping blanket and tried a new idea. I would dismantle the TV set and carry it out in a few easy pieces. I unscrewed the back cover to begin my surgery and exposed a pandora’s box of scary looking tubes, parts and wires. I called up a friend who advised that the tubes have dangerous high pressure radioactive chemicals and could explode. I surrendered. The local handyman arrived the next morning and he and I easily carried it to his truck. I gave him $25 and learned another valuable life lesson. Things aren’t as heavy when you have some help.
That lesson applies to just about everything in life. I saw an elderly lady at Food City carting her bags up to the trunk of her car. A young man with Ohio license plates noticed her and walked over to give her a hand. Afterwards, the Buckeye and the lady exchanged smiles and it reminded me once again that things aren’t nearly as heavy when you have some help. Heavy loads sometimes are disguised as stress, medical illness and personal losses.
While visiting a very sick friend at Fort Sanders hospital I found myself a bit uncomfortable with what to say or do. After a short while he fell asleep and the nurse must have noticed my uneasiness. She sweetly counseled that it was only important for me to be there, conversation not required. In a way she lightened my load with her guidance and I was lightening his very heavy load a bit just by sitting at the edge of the hospital bed… and being there.
We can all help lighten each other’s loads whether they are personal, medical or emotional. I may have discovered a new scientific law because it applies to all living things… and it always works. Things aren’t as heavy when you have some help.
There are many different kinds of tough loads burdening our brothers, sisters, friends and neighbors. Always have been and always will be. Sometimes it just takes a phone call or an encouraging word or the incredible power of a heartfelt smile to get the job done. Heavy physical lifting is rarely called for.
There are thousands of easy ways to lighten others’ loads if we just remember to help. Yep, someone may have an old TV being used as an end table in the basement and you might assist, but most of the time the only requirement is to show up and be there. It cost me $25 to get that TV hauled out, but the life lesson was priceless. Things aren’t as heavy when you have some help (but I do miss my end table). That is just how it looks from my log cabin.
John LaFevre is a local speaker and co-author of the interactive national park hiking book series, Scavenger Hike Adventures (new book: Shenandoah National Park/July, 2009) Contact John at email@example.com. Artist G. Webb illustrates the national book series and lives in Pittman Center, Tennessee. Gwebbgallery.com.