My son is getting married. For about a month, I have been really wondering what I’m going to wear. I’ve been shopping online, not finding anything. Purchased one possibility only to return it (and still miffed at spending $9.50 shipping). Ventured out on my own one day to Fred Meyers and used a scooter. I went around the outside edges of the women’s clothing department, eyeing the racks in the middle, trying to spy out an item that I would be willing to walk in for. Probably should have brought some binoculars! Luckily I did find something pretty on the outer perimeter.  Shopping is a big effort for me. Trying on clothes is avoided. I decided to just take the one top home and try it on there. I like it, but it’s not exactly right.

My neighbor Charlene and I often go out to lunch and get our nails done. I shared with her, of course, that I had not found anything to wear to the wedding yet. She suggested that I go shopping with her. My first thought was how difficult that will be, but I am feeling somewhat desperate, so I agree. We planned to go on Monday. Her daughter Julie can come that day. Charlene tells me that Julie picks out the best things. (Turns out that is true!)

Shopping.  I used to enjoy it.  It was never a passion, but I enjoyed it.  Now?  Quite honestly, I find it hard to even move hangers in a rack of clothes, and having too many options in front of me is overwhelming.  A whole store full? – Oy!  My hands go numb, and it is difficult to stand or hold myself upright after awhile. So having Charlene and Julie with me to pick out a few things eased the burden. We quickly found seven beautiful tops.

We had spotted a wheelchair when we first walked into Kohl’s and kept that in mind. It seemed like a trip to the restroom might be a good idea before I started to try anything on. Now you know, the restrooms are always ALL THE WAY in the back of the store. I started walking with my cane and about halfway there, the beautifully squeaky clean floor was my nemesis, threatening to trip me up with each step. I continued on, but sent Julie back to grab that wheelchair.

Now, on to the dressing room! The first top I tried on was beautiful (Julie’s pick). I walked out to show my friends. The second top was beautiful (again, Julie’s). I showed them that one. This is going to wear me out… Luckily the handicapped dressing room opened up and I asked Charlene and Julie join me so I wouldn’t expend so much energy. And I was glad that I did because it turns out two tops is my limit. After I slipped on the 3rd top, I could not take it off without help. My arms would not go over my head and I could not feel anything with my hands. Oh, and there are some complicated tops out there. Attached camisoles, Fly Away outer shells, all attached and creating quite a puzzle! Julie had to find arm holes and keep cami straps in place for me.

So there it is.  My vulnerability.  I need help. I know it is safe for me to ask my friends for help, but this is certainly nothing I had ever planned on or prepared myself for. It was terribly awkward for me to admit that I couldn’t even take a shirt off without help. That’s a little bit too much vulnerability.  Knowing how difficult shopping is, I had already opened myself up in just accepting the offer.  They did not go shopping that day for themselves, they were there for me.  They even brought me a coupon!  I would be safe in my vulnerability with them.

No matter how much I didn’t (and don’t) want to be vulnerable, there it was, it was obvious. I needed help.  I needed to ask for help.  I needed to let myself be helped.  I needed to let myself be vulnerable.

More adventures in vulnerability coming in May. I have signed up for a women’s retreat. What am I thinking?!  My maximum away from home has been 3 hours, not 3 days for the past few years.  I’ll let you know how that goes.
Writing this blog is also an adventure in vulnerability. One that I have avoided for a couple of years, but here I am.  Being willing to be vulnerable.  Somewhat.



  1. Ann Martin said,

    March 22, 2016 at 1:40 pm

    What wonderful loving friends. Never be afraid to ask for help or accept the kindness of those around you. God has put them there for a reason. I am inspired by you, my friend. Love you.

    • annita said,

      March 22, 2016 at 1:48 pm

      Thanks, my friend. It was a great day. And a great realization of how unwilling I have been to be vulnerable. God (obviously) has blessing for us in that, but I want to sit in my comfort zone, in what I am capable of…looks like I will be exploring these thoughts. God has given me great friends! Everywhere. Love you so much!

  2. Emily said,

    March 22, 2016 at 1:51 pm

    Wow Annita, that is beautiful

    • annita said,

      March 22, 2016 at 2:32 pm

      Thanks, Emily. ❤

  3. hippylostintime said,

    March 22, 2016 at 1:51 pm

    I love you — and your vulnerability. These are the times I want to be close, so I can help do “whatever” even though you have lots and lots of friends.
    So in your weakness, that is (one) of your blessings — to be surrounded by all these incredible people who love you and see YOU, not your weaknesses.
    Thanks for sharing. Thanks for being willing to “put it out there,” and for your willingness to accept the love others have for you. And … so very, very, very excited for this Saturday for you all! Again … wishing I was there to hug the bride and groom and especially the groom’s mom. So happy … and hoping someone snaps a few photos of this wonderful day.

    • annita said,

      March 22, 2016 at 2:31 pm

      We will be snapping photos. They wrote their own vows! <3. Love you! Could you arrange to get to Warm Beach for the retreat? That would be awesome! Bring the girls.

  4. March 22, 2016 at 2:39 pm

    So beautifully written! You are such a loving gentle soul that people feel blessed just to be with you, and more so when they can help! This vulnerability thing is hard! I find as I have less capacity and realize I need to let some things go, that I want to give up all the meds and appointments type of stuff and hold on to the “good” stuff! But, as you know, we don’t always have that choice. So, I guess we have to pray that it counts! The vulnerability has a purpose. And, learning the humbleness that comes with it does, too.

    Love you like crazy!! I hope you all have a wonderful time on Saturday!

    • annita said,

      March 22, 2016 at 2:45 pm

      Oh. humbleness. You bless me. I hadn’t thought that out yet. Praying that it counts… Such good words. So true! Love you tons! Thanks, Amy.

  5. Marian Spurling said,

    March 22, 2016 at 3:03 pm

    WONDERFUL Annita! Praying for you & let’s me know specifically HOW & WHAT to pray for!♡♡

    • annita said,

      March 22, 2016 at 3:13 pm

      Thanks, Marian! Let’s be praying for that retreat. First weekend in May.

  6. Colleen Ross said,

    March 22, 2016 at 3:08 pm

    God is so good!! He sent you some amazing friends to help you! You will do fine on retreat, just remember that God is in control!! You deserve you time. Love you friend

    • annita said,

      March 22, 2016 at 3:18 pm

      Oh, Colleen! He is! I’m looking forward to the retreat. Thanks, dear friend. Love you!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: