Ysabel was upset the other day. My spunky 4-year-old cousin must’ve gotten caught doing what she wasn’t supposed to – fighting with her brother, pulling the dog’s tail, playing with her food. I’m not sure.Whatever the case, she ended up curling up next to me. I took her under my wing, and she accepted my embrace saying, “Your hugs make me feel better.”
It’s what I needed to hear.
I am a fixer. Nothing perturbs me more than seeing someone I care for aching in personal loss or exasperated with their circumstances. As the fixer, I assume responsibility. I question until I reach the root of the issue and try to find ways to alleviate their anguish – the sooner, the better – completely eradicating the issue, never to be thought of again, ideally.
Let’s face it. That hardly, if ever, happens. In reality, I’ve delved so far into the issue, it almost becomes my own and feelings of helplessness abound.
But I continue to try.
I realize that applying the extent of that reflection to Ysabel’s situation is silly. But her comments gave way to a greater insight.
As a community life reporter, I’ve learned the stories of my neighbors. I’ve had the privilege of celebrating accomplishment, but I’m also entrusted with stories of struggle and heartbreak.
There have been several instances when I’ve left an interview feeling exceptional despair. The words in a story seem so pitiful in comparison to what some people are going through.
But in that despair, I’ve learned the importance of simplicity. Sometimes all I can offer is a prayer for consolation and understanding – for both the affected and myself – and a prayer of hope that my feeble words provide some sort of comfort.
And sometimes, all I’ve gotten is a hug. And sometimes, that is enough.