Help.

“You need to learn how to accept help,” my friend Jane told me back in 2011 when I was packing up the home my family was leaving after 27 years. She had barged into my house uninvited, thank God, her arms full of boxes, intent on helping me through one of the most difficult times of my life. 

As a Southern woman I was taught that asking for help showed weakness. “The word ‘weak’ will never define me,” became my mantra, my mother being the poster child for an independent and self-sufficient woman. “Be your own person. Never depend on a man!” I can clearly remember her saying as a woman raised in a generation of suppressed women. At age 29, with two babies in tow, she up and moved her family to a third-world country. And although she did it to follow my father’s career, she made a mark of her own in a society that was completely foreign to her.

Later, after my father lost a business, she got herself a job during the day and at night went back to college to earn a degree, and then a Masters. When widowed at age 53, she picked up the pieces of her life and forged ahead. Independent till the night she died, my mother defied anyone who tried to help her. Her independent nature certainly made life easier on my sister and me and others around her, but I’m sad she missed out on all the care so many were willing to give her.

Asking for help was also an imposition, I would also believe until a friend once asked, “You sure love helping people. Why don’t you allow others that same joy?” That all made sense, but it was still hard to implement.

This all leads me to share what happened just this week. I enrolled in a literary conference in New York, one that gives me an opportunity to present my manuscript to an agent I’d love to work with. After signing up for a meeting with her, I reviewed my author’s platform (my website, social media and email list) and immediately felt it needed better numbers. Before I could talk myself out of it, I posted a plea for help on Facebook. Within 24 hours almost 250 people shared my plea on their Facebook pages, added their names to my email list, and liked my social media channels, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. Old friends from high school and college left me encouraging notes in Messenger and in email. One friend offered her New York home for a launch party, another offered to review my proposal, another to host me as their book club speaker. Countless others offered their moral support. And by the way, many of these folks I’ve never met. I am humbled beyond belief by the generosity.

All this to say, “I’ve learned my lesson, friends. You guys are pretty amazing.”

Thank you. Thank you, from the bottom of my heart.

41 Comments
  • Dan Hartwell
    Posted at 05:34h, 26 August Reply

    Awesome! Can’t wait for your book to be published!!

    • lisaweldon
      Posted at 05:49h, 26 August Reply

      Yo’ sister is in it!!! Thank you. My love to you and Lynn.

  • Jeanne N Ross
    Posted at 06:32h, 26 August Reply

    Lisa- we are so proud of you. What an incredible story and journey you have been on. Kate was telling us this week how she would go to your house everyday after school in K when Rick was in the hospital and sit and talk to you. She said you were her best friend! We love you and can’t wait to read your book!

    • lisaweldon
      Posted at 07:08h, 26 August Reply

      Oh, how I love Kate! I told her she MUST post every move of her trip overseas, that I would be living through her.

  • Linda Mangold
    Posted at 06:33h, 26 August Reply

    Was just telling someone the other day about your book and how talented you were! Can’t wait to read it!

  • Cynthia Lyon
    Posted at 07:02h, 26 August Reply

    Great reminder for all of us “independent “ women. Can’t wait for your book!!

    • lisaweldon
      Posted at 07:06h, 26 August Reply

      Independent is good. But allowing others in is even better. I’m trying my best to learn that!

  • Janis
    Posted at 07:30h, 26 August Reply

    Love for you to speak to our Book Club! And you are right, many friends and people out there are willing to help but you do have to ask so they know how to help. Except Jane of course!

  • Debby Sutton
    Posted at 07:59h, 26 August Reply

    Lisa, well said. We can all learn a lesson from this post. Best wishes on great success. You’ve got this!

  • Lee St.John
    Posted at 08:40h, 26 August Reply

    That’s because you are easy to love. Team-Lisa!

  • Sally McClelland
    Posted at 08:53h, 26 August Reply

    Lisa, of course we’d help. We all love you, and your writing, and would do anything in a heartbeat to help or encourage. YOU GO GIRL!

    • lisaweldon
      Posted at 11:25h, 26 August Reply

      Thank you, my dear!! I will see you in February, right? At the AGD reunion in Auburn?

  • Pat Sabiston
    Posted at 09:23h, 26 August Reply

    Other writers … the family we choose.

    • lisaweldon
      Posted at 11:24h, 26 August Reply

      Yes, indeed. I’ve just come to know writers since starting this book. They’re a fun and very introspective group. I love all my new wordy friends.

  • Maureen Goldman
    Posted at 09:36h, 26 August Reply

    This is a beautiful post! And all the support? You deserve more than anyone I know.

  • Georganne
    Posted at 09:49h, 26 August Reply

    Beautiful piece of writing, as always! We love you, Lisa. This book/event is going to be awesome… you already are!!!

  • Judy Thomas
    Posted at 10:16h, 26 August Reply

    All you had to do was ask! Hell , my mother’s mantra was “prepare for the worst and hope for the best”! As I look back, that was pretty negative and cynical in this age of positivity. Sometimes we need to pick and choose our way through our mom’s directives.

  • mark_cleggjr@hotmail.com
    Posted at 12:38h, 26 August Reply

    I can’t wait to read your forthcoming book; the excerpts are wonderful.

    • lisaweldon
      Posted at 17:27h, 26 August Reply

      And YOURS, too!! Diane said you were busy, busy, busy writing. Due first of November, right?

  • Jan Myhre
    Posted at 13:12h, 26 August Reply

    I used to think I was a giver and not a taker. I see life differently because life had other things in mind. Now I am both giver and taker. Either stance is gift. Either stance is grace.

    My dil is a southern woman who is experiencing a battle with breast cancer. To see her independent self ask for help has been heartwarming, to say the least. She learned early on that she needed a “tribe.” And now, living in Italy, that realization has meant even more. She has more than one tribe, here in the states and one in Italy where she resides for now. It’s been a joy to be part of her USA tribe.

    It’s a joy to be in your camp as well. My very best of all things good are wished for you on your journey.

    ~Jan Myhre, Haven Alum

    • lisaweldon
      Posted at 17:27h, 26 August Reply

      Oh, no! I know it must be hard to be so far away from her. Our family’s dealt with it, too, and even though it’s awful, it brings so many blessings. I can still tell you the meals friends brought us. One friend brought flowers from her garden each Monday, another a bottle of champagne after the last treatment. It’s a gift, really, to be able to witness the outpouring of love. And the Haven alumns — wow! What a gift y’all are!

  • Anne Arthur
    Posted at 14:26h, 26 August Reply

    Lisa,

    at times, even we strong women are in need of help. And that’s OK. The community of support and friendship makes us even stronger, and happier too.

    Wishing you all the best for your NY trip and lots of success.

    Anne Arthur

  • Diane Pyles
    Posted at 15:32h, 26 August Reply

    I still remember your uplifting visit to me in the hospital gen I had cancer…bringing yummy cookies. You’re a very giving person.

    • lisaweldon
      Posted at 17:16h, 26 August Reply

      Oh, my heavens, Diane. Maybe because you were SOOOO giving to my Witt. You’d be so proud of him now. You and I need another night out. I want to hear about all YOUR travels.

  • Gala Harris
    Posted at 17:04h, 26 August Reply

    Thank you for being an example and inspiration and form of entertainment rolled into one

    • lisaweldon
      Posted at 17:15h, 26 August Reply

      You are the best. I’m going to be REAL entertaining if this woman says no. Have you ever seen me dance?

  • Joe McEvoy
    Posted at 19:01h, 26 August Reply

    You are so welcome!!! Your writing style and your ability to share is really fantastic! I want to purchase your up coming best sellers and get them signed!!!

    • lisaweldon
      Posted at 14:25h, 27 August Reply

      I like the way you think, my friend.

  • Christine
    Posted at 12:10h, 27 August Reply

    Thank You for sharing your beautiful story. I feel privileged to know you for so many years. You are such a beautiful woman.

    • lisaweldon
      Posted at 14:24h, 27 August Reply

      Well, my friend, I am the privileged one. Your friendship means the world to me.

  • Judith Wilson
    Posted at 13:19h, 27 August Reply

    Pure magic in these words: “You sure love helping people. Why don’t you allow others that same joy?”

  • Cindy Mills
    Posted at 13:24h, 27 August Reply

    Soooo excited to tag along on another adventure!

    • lisaweldon
      Posted at 14:23h, 27 August Reply

      Oh, Lordie, here we go! I appreciate you being along with me.

  • Barbara Weldon
    Posted at 21:54h, 27 August Reply

    Lisa, you are an amazing woman! Thank you for letting me be a part of this exciting venture.

    • lisaweldon
      Posted at 08:35h, 30 August Reply

      Oh, my gosh, Barbara. Thank you so much. I have had such ups and downs in the book-writing process and it’s folks like you who keep me going. I love you and Terry so much!

  • Sandy and Sue
    Posted at 14:55h, 01 September Reply

    Hey Lisa,
    Although Sandy and I miss being a part of your family rearing among other things,we are thrilled to see you enjoying your life. We are excited to see you exploring this world and then sharing it with all those who may not have that opportunity. We will always keep you in our prayers,especially now with all your traveling. We love you and hope to keep in touch

    • lisaweldon
      Posted at 20:48h, 01 September Reply

      You will always be part of my family…and a HUGE part. Just ask any of my friends – they’ve heard me again and again rave about Sandy. BUT, the most exciting thing is that Witt and Trey both have a real love for construction. Witt’s talking about going into it as a career. They lived through so many walls being torn down, plumbing reworked, electrical rewired…you name it. I thank God, they learned from Sandy, the most talented craftsman ever. I love yall.

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