Monday, February 4, 2008

Slacker!

Occasionally, I forget stuff. Shocker, I know.

All last week, I meant to do my visiting teaching. I knew the end of the month was coming, and I just didn't get to it. And my partner is out of town.

How bad is that?

For anyone who doesn't know about visiting teaching (vt) it's a church program in which every woman has someone assigned to watch over her and basically be a personal contact every month between her and the church. As a vt I have a partner and a route of 4 women that I am supposed to contact every month. I sometimes share a spiritual thought, but mostly the ladies I see would rather chat.

See, the smart thing to do, would be to make these monthly contacts at the beginning of the month, wouldn't it? But as much as I would like to be, I'm just not a beginning of the month kind of girl. My comfort zone is somewhere around the middle of the month. And I live in my comfort zone whenever possible.

So the month got away from me, and on the 31st, I finally ended up writing cards to everyone and then I promptly forgot to drop them in the mail. But I swear, my intentions were good. I at least get some credit for remembering, and trying right?

r-i-i-i-i-i-i-ght.

On Sunday, I found out that one of my ladies' mil died last week. Funeral was Saturday. Which lead me to the conclusion that I pretty much stink as a vt. Where was I to help bring in a dinner after the family's long, hard day? Or help her find a funeral dress, or run her kids around so she could be available for all the things she needed to do?

So now what? My partner is and has been out of town, so it's just me.

I know that if I offer to bring in a dinner, it will be quickly turned down. ("no, no. We're fine.") And after all, the whole thing has been over for 3 days now. I could just take something anyway. What about running over some brownies? ( As in run over to her house with brownies - - Not as in run over the brownies with my car. Cause I can't afford to get another alignment right now.) Does it change anything at all if I tell you that this is the same woman that was in charge of The Kitchen? Because it is.

OH wise internet friends ( and strangers too -hey feel free to chime in) - what do I do?

29 comments:

JustRandi said...

First!


I crack myself up.

JustRandi said...

Ok the real reason I came in here is that I feel the need to mention that this woman really is a good friend, and if there's anything I can do to actually help, I would like to.

I only mentioned the kitchen incident as a reference to why it would be funny to take brownies over there.

I don't know... it was funny at the time, OK?

"Vern" said...

I hesitate to comment under the invitation of a "wise" internet friend, 'cause that's just a word that's not used to describe me (similar to "pretty"). However, I'd like to help a fellow visiting teacher enveloped in guilt. Why are we so good at that? Anyway, I think what I would do is instead of asking to do something, (such as dinner) just take something over that could be cooked anytime for when it's convenient. That way you don't have to play the "no, we're fine" game. Also, stop acting like it's your fault for not magically knowing about what happened. Even if you had visited the day before you still would not have known anything happened unless she called you. I've also learned in certain instances like this that help is needed even more after the chaos of the tragedy has passed because everyone else goes home and returns to their lives. So, maybe bringing something a little later (bubble bath or a CD of your favorite iTunes music) would even be more timely. Why am I still typing? I'm not even wise!! Good luck.

TheDillon6 said...

since you specifically invited "strangers" this time...

First, let her know you love her and want to do something to help her ~ anything.

And then drive to her house with a "freezer" meal. If she doesn't need it today or tomorrow, she might need it next week. And when she pulls it out of the freezer to put into the oven, she will remember that you ARE a good friend (and a so-so-Visiting Teacher). ;)

Purpose said...

I have formed some great friendships through VT but must admit, I don't know that my own VT would be my first call in the event of tragedy or death.

jjstringham said...

I was totally thinking of leaving a comment saying you should bring brownies. . . until I read that she was the kitchen lady. Now I'm thinking maybe anything BUT brownies. Or perhaps some grocery-store-made brownies. :-P

Lippy said...

In any situation (other than a paid position) better late than never. Maybe not a full meal, but I would bet any gesture would be appreciated, right?

You kinda threw me off track when I hit the comment section and saw "First". Made me laugh and derailed the really profound thought I had :)

Earl said...

People who have home teachers and visiting teachers should call their respective assigned people and let them KNOW they are having a problem. If you had visited at the beginning of January, you would still have missed it. Someone has to let you know something is going on. Don't beat yourself up. Since she is a friend,let her know now, that you are there for her.

Earl said...

See, and I commented before reading the other comments. Same stuff. You are just feeling guilty. Don't,

Heather said...

Ditto.... man you have some wise friends.

I would say just do something to let her know you were thinking about her- that's what people appreciate the most.

mindyluwho said...

I vote for the freezer meal. And flowers. Not because you should feel guilty, but because it would be a nice thing to do and you are a nice person.

I cracked up over the brownie comment!

Buddy said...

Here's what I think: You should make brownies or some other type of dessert and give it to your kids.

Ok, maybe not. What I really think is that you should do a "secret santa" type of deal. Doorbell ditch with the brownies (though you would then run the risk of that new alignment after all...). That way, a.) she doesn't think you're just doing it because you "have" to, b.) she's not reminded that you forgot the visiting teaching last month, and c.) she still gets a nice gesture and warm feeling inside.

If it's three days after the matter, things have probably died down. But that doesn't mean things are easier yet; it simply means the extra help people are giving her is thinning out. A warm, secret goodie to remind her that people are STILL keeping her in her prayers might be just the thing... :)

Carrot Jello said...

I'd pick something, and do it. Now.

Carrot Jello said...

And do something later too.

Janell said...

I also vote that the freezer meal is an excellent idea. You can even make it in tin foil pans, so no one has to worry about dishes being returned.

I hesitate to vote for the flowers. Usually I'm all for flowers: they don't contribute calories, they don't collect dust, and they can be enjoyed for a few weeks. In this case, I wonder if your VTee will already have flowers left over from the funeral.

Eh. Honestly? My VTers tend to be closer to fifth or sixth on my call list. I consider my siblings and best friends my first response team.

Yvonne said...

When your comment popped up, I thought--wait a minute...you crack me up, too!!!

I'm sure you are a great visiting teacher. A hug will mean so much to her. Letting her know that you are there for her will also. I love the idea of a freezer meal.

No, you are not a slacker ; )

Marilyn said...

That has happened to me... I lost my MIL 2 years ago. I didn't call my vt...so don't feel bad. They didn't help..so don't feel bad. BUT go see her and put your arms around her and maybe cry with her....write her a heartfelt note. Freezer meal sounds awesome too-so do brownies!

Tonya said...

My VT'ing companion is often out of town so I feel your pain. It can be hard to get it all together and then remember where you put it. Don't be to hard on yourself.

I think taking some kind of treat over would be great along with a card letting her know you are thinking of them. It's never to late for kindness.

NG said...

A lot of times there's lots of contact just after a death in the family... it's a few days later, when reality sets in and relatives head back home after the funeral that people really need some extra support. I think, in general, everyone says "no" when you ask them "do you need anything?". True service is about seeing a need and filling it. So if you feel like you want to bring by brownies or dinner or whatever, don't ask, just do it. But bring something she can put in the fridge or keep if plans don't allow her to use it right away.

Jenny said...

When my MIL died, the first week or so there was so much to do that a visit, though nice, would not have ment as much as one a week later.
I vote go over now, tell her you just heard, you love and care about her. Bring something she can throw in the crock pot on a hard day. Tell her you know someone who framed a picture of the grandmother with each kid in their rooms so she would not be forgotten--sometimes a memorial thing can help with the greiving and help the son/husband. Regardless of whether you showed up 30 seconds after it happened or later, it is wonderful to know people around you care and are there to help. Don't wait any longer...go go go!! :)

kristen said...

It's probably good you didn't go over right away because there's so much to do for a funeral. If anything, people need support after the fact. Send a nice card in the mail, or better yet drop it by in person. While she may have left over flowers, she may also have left over food. I think I'd personally like flowers, but that's just me.

Just let her know that you care. Don't beat yourself up for not knowing until after; I mean, how many people call their VT right away with something like this?

Tori :) said...

You didn't know so how were you suppose to help?? I say show up with a dinner she can either throw in the oven that nite or throw in the freezer for future dinners. I would love to have some frozen meals whether someone died or not.

Melissa said...

I like the freezer meal idea... something that she can pop in when she does have need of it... and I love that you decided to be the first commenter on your own post :D

No Cool Story said...

I'm so excite that justrandi was first!! WOOHOOO! way to go.

DUH. I'm late to the wise advice giving. I agree with others: Better late than never, do it now, do it later also, freezer food sounds good.

I know, I'm wise way beyond my years.

Corrine said...

You crack me up!! I think bringing her brownies would be funny, I was laughing.

But being her friend, I would still do something for her...I can only imagine once everything settles down is when it is roughest...

maybe send her a card and a plant...

just stop by after going to the grocery store and bring her somethings to put in the freezer that she could heat and eat sometime when she just isn't in the mood to eat or cook rather?

I think just letting her know you care and are there...

ok well I was long winded...

i should go drive over my brownies that I keep snacking on down stairs!

Jill said...

I agree with the freezer meal, and flowers.
And also, I have discovered that VTs are not generally the first ones to be called. Several times, I have heard after the fact that one of the ladies I visit is in some sort of need, and didn't anything to me.
I think it's just in our nature, we are willing to help in any way we can, but if we need help, we don't ask for it.

Lauren said...

I feel a little late...

Well, jsut so you know, me and my mom are VT partners and we too forgot to go this January...we brought over cookies. I know your situation is extremely different so I would do what everyone else says...make dinner or a treat and tell her you love her.

Speaking of love,
Have I told you lately that I love you? Because I do...that first commenty thing was awesome!

Nancy Face said...

YAY! Randi is first! (And I'm possibly last.)

As Lauren said, we took cookies to each sister, along with a cute card. And we did it last night (on the 4th!) and called it a Family Home Evening treat! And no, we won't count it for February! ;)

As for this particular friend, I love evryone's ideas, and I agree...it's very difficult to show up right away when you haven't been informed! No guilt necessary! ♥ Nancy

The MomBabe said...

ha-ha-ha. I think you should take 2 batches of brownies. Burnt and awesome.....

I'd definitely pop over with something though. At least a little note.