Debra-Lynn B. Hook: Learning to ask for help

Debra-Lynn B. Hook, Tribune News Service on

Published in Lifestyles

It takes not just a village but apparently several overlapping villages to keep a human alive.

For my purposes, it takes my people.

My daughter’s people.

My sons’ people.

It takes my doctors, the bank lady, my haircutter, my therapist, my friend who makes me breakfast, my other friend who makes me dinner, the people who run the local food co-op, the woman who leads meditation, the pharmacist I call at 4 a.m. about a drug interaction, my Facebook pals, my children, their friends who support them, my sisters and friends and cousins who field my sometimes alarming texts, phone calls and voice memos, not to mention Jesus, Buddha, Instacart and John-Boy.

All play a part in my well-being and survival.


All make me wonder how I ever got by without them.

Time was, like most women of my generation, I didn’t know how to ask for help.

I adhered to Ralph Waldo Emerson’s philosophy of self-reliance rather than John Donne’s no (wo)man is an island.

I was always the help-er, not the help-ee.


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