Sunday, February 8, 2009

What to do, what to do?

My visiting-teachee has cancer. (For non-LDS, this means a person at church that I visit once a month and make sure she's okay.)

I know this, even though I technically shouldn't.

She doesn't seem to want people to know. She told me it was a possibility, and then seemed really really bothered that she had.

So, it's not like we're dear friends. I can't just call her and say I'm sorry and what can I do.

She doesn't like scheduled visits, since she never knows how she'll feel.

They don't need meals.

I'm not even sure she likes me.

And yet, my heart aches. I want to be able to DO something. Bring flowers? Bring flowers and leave them on her doorstep? Just pray from afar?

Anyone have any ideas?

9 comments:

Kira said...

As one that is in the "sick" boat right now (not that all my baby problems are anywhere near Cancer) my favorite is not the RS pres that calls me every week for an update on the voicemail, but the ones that just sincerly ask me what they can do for me. I never have accepted help from them, but it is nice to know I have someone in my corner.

eden said...

i'm kind of a fan of leaving things on the doorstep occasionally. that way she knows you're thinking about her but she doesn't have to worry about the potential awkwardness of a visit. less intrusive that way.

just my opinion.

Sam Ruddick said...

steal her car?

that should get her mind of it for an hour or two...

Amara said...

I like the doorstep idea. Not necessarily food either. Flowers? A cheap book you've liked, but with a note. It seems like with notes you can get more personal without being "in your face". You can always put your number on the bottom. Caring, but not where she ever feels like she has to respond to you. p.s. that Sam.....

Mike and Emily said...

I once had a similar situation and I stunk at it. She was very private as well and didn't want people to know and didn't need help (she had lots of family around). So I prayed for her. I think putting her name on the prayer roll is a nice thing too.

Jamie said...

As a very private person, I always appreciate the stuff on the doorstep. I don't have to react right in front of them, but it's a little reminder that there is one more person I could go to for help.

Genevieve Beck said...

Very difficult situation. I like the door idea. I know that specific suggestions (Could I come and mop your floor?) are usually better then "Let us know if there is anything we can do." However, in this situation it sounds like the door would be a better place to start.
Hang in there. I believe when we have visiting teaching down to no awkwardness or dread, we will have made the Celestial Kingdom.

Vegan Mothering said...

I'm sort of in the same boat. My calling is compassionate service leader so I arrange all the meals for sickness, deaths, after-births, ect. It's sort of awkward because I don't want people to think I'm just being nice and talking to them and/or bringing a meal because of my calling. However, I AM doing it because of my calling, why else would I just happen to drop by at the perfect scheduled time with a meal? Regardless, it's the spirit of it....which is sometimes hard to catch. I find just doing it with a smile (sounds so polly-anna, I know) helps. Beyond that, well, I agree with the previous comment: when it's no longer awkward or dreaded we're getting pretty close to the Celestial kingdom.

kathy said...

I think you nailed the problem on the head when you mentioned that she doesn't schedule things with you "since she never knows how she'll feel."

People with serious illness don't want to go through the emotional pain of feeling like a flake on top of everything else they have to deal with. Friends get stood up a time or two and bail out—which can be incredibly isolating for the sick person. And I could see her not planning anything just to save herself the hassle and the heartache.

Perhaps you could offer to take her to lunch (or something similar—if you even have time w/your busy job). Let her know it's no problem at all if she has to ditch your plans last minute. Then, if she feels like death and has to cancel, really be ok with it and make sure she knows it. And keep calling. Always.

You are so fabulous that anything you say or do for her that's genuinely you will be lovely.

Blah, blah, blah. I'm shutting up now.