Sometimes life throws you a curve ball so hard, without helping hands you would not be able to get up.
I am lucky to have many helping hands to hold me, take care of me, take care of my children and be there for me when needed.
I know that the girls I work with have no supporting hands at all.
Tragedy happens again and again in their lives, and, to my amazement, they get up not only without a helping hand, but, alas, completely by themselves.
The unthinkable happened. My sweet, beloved, optimistic brother-in-law died of cancer.
I cannot count the helping hands that collected my tears here in Los Angeles.
“Breathe, breathe, Nomi,” she said to me on the phone as I was weeping.
“We will give you a hand with whatever you need.”
Helping hands called the travel agent and helped me figure out what to do.
Many hands texted and emailed me asking “What do you need?”
And then, once I left, loving and supporting hands took care of my children, cuddled them, drove them from place to place, and made sure that they were okay while we were away.
Friends who were and are simply there for us.
And so my husband and I flew to Israel.
Israel’s essence and core is a helping-hand community, particularly when there is a tragedy.
Hands around us.
Hands feeding us.
Hands praying with us.
Hands reaching out to us, trying somehow to hold the broken pieces of our shattered hearts together.
My sister and best friend’s hands repacked my bags at the airport, distributing the weight between my luggage and carry on so that the checked bag would not be overweight.
Then each one in turn, wrapped her arms around me hugging me a deep, long, loving hug before I boarded the plane to leave.
These are the helping hands of people who care, my people.
And there are also the helping hands of strangers.
The one who helped me with my luggage.
The flight attendant who saw me crying, came over with a tissue, and gently put her hand on my shoulder and asked if she could get me anything.
And then, my own hands.
My hands slowly opening my computer on the plane, getting online and getting back to work, even though, really, that is the last thing I wanted to do.
We have an event coming up very soon.
A garden party to celebrate The Advot Project.
I am sure you have all seen the promotions for it.
Amazing how I can be across the sea, and an automated hand will send out an email, a Facebook ad or announcement.
Participants in our programs will be performing. This will be a fundraiser for our programs and the new locations that we are expanding to.
More than a dozen helping hands are pulling this event together with me.
In this crazy world we live in where people too young die of cancer,
Where a gunman kills the innocent in Las Vegas,
Where women are beaten and girls are denied an education, and the list can go on and on, a simple helping hand can make a world of difference.
One of the girls in our program, who I am trying to convince to perform, asked me, “Who will be at this party?”
“People who support The Advot Project,” I tell her.
“Like who?” she asks.
They always find it hard to believe that people will actually care.
“People who follow the blog I write, colleagues of mine, people who believe in you,” I answer.
She looks at me amazed.
“They believe in you,” she says.
“They wouldn’t give me a hand if I was lying here on the ground.”
“Actually,” I say to her, “These people, my amazing people, and a lot of people who I don’t even know, would not only give you a hand, they would also give you a lot more. But YOU need to let them.”
“You see,” I tell her and I get a little choked up.
“You are funny because you don’t think people want to help you.
I have not been so wise, because I don’t always let people help me.
I have learned these past few weeks that people really want to help and people can be extraordinary if you just let them in, or dare to ask.
And when you do, amazingness can happen!”
This one doesn’t know me that well.
And has yet to see me get emotional.
“Damn, Ms., you okay?”
It sucks that when you are grieving sadness can creep up on you without any warning and suddenly you are a mess with no advance notice.
She reaches out her hand and puts it on my arm.
“People believe in you,” I whisper. “I believe in you.”
“Okay, okay,” she says. “Why are you crying? Ms.?”
‘’Cause I want you to know that,” I say.
“You are intense as fuck,” she says to me.
“So are you,” I say back to her.
And we both burst out laughing.
I hold her hand and tell her about my brother-in-law.
She tells me about her brother.
We all need them.
We can all be them.
So, I’d like to tell you that you shouldn’t think about it too much.
Just do it.
Ask for help and/or give assistance, period, without hesitation.
It might not change the world,
But it can and will change someone’s existence, ease their pain and change their world.
Join us on October 21st or make a donation for our Evening Garden Party to celebrate The Advot Project: https://advot-evening-garden-party.eventbrite.com