Don’t allow personal needs to overtake you

Brenda Cannon HenleyBy Brenda Cannon HenleyHaving experienced many changes in my life since Aug. 16, 2014, when my sweet husband, Ted, went to Heaven, I know a thing or two about needs. I am better acquainted with being alone, but not often lonely, cooking for one, rather than an army of folks, traveling alone to destinations of choice, or to help meet the needs of others, shopping and planning for occasions that are very different now, and finding my own path through life. I still feel in my heart of hearts that I have a very good life although a very different life.

Please do not misconstrue my thoughts. I am not complaining or whining. I have delightful family members that love me very much, but they have their own families and life to live. My friends are among the best people on this earth, and I don’t know what I would have done without them, but they go home at night to their own nests. I am occupied with work and causes I very much believe in and enjoy. I thank God for the health He has given me, even though I had a slight bump in the road with a minor stroke this past July. I thank God every day that my sister was here from Georgia to help me.

What I have learned is that different people handle the needs, old or new, in their lives, with great success or impending failure. They are either great blessings to those in their life or they are dreaded like the flu or a good heavy case of shingles. I have asked God again and again to please not let my own needs interfere with my helping with the needs of others.

Sitting in a place of observation on many occasions, this thought has become imbedded in my heart and mind. I will give one illustration although there are many I could write today.

During Ted’s long and difficult battle with cancer, I learned the value of folks who just show up and say, “I will do this for you.” They do not ask, “What can I do?” The reason that is super important is that much of the time the caregiver has no clue how to answer. “Everything needed doing,” comes to my mind.

One precious friend of mine from the beach, GinGee Stewart, simply showed up in the SICU where Ted spent the last 36 days and nights of his life and handed me a blue Igloo cooler. GinGee StewartIn it, she had carefully chosen and packed six ice cold Pepsis (in the little bottles I prefer), several chocolate candy bars, cheese, and several other items. GinGee did not talk. She just sat. And, when she left, she said, “I love you and Ted. Hope the treats help.” Guess what, the treats did help. When I let myself get down in the dumps, got another nasty cancer report from the doctors, felt my strength waning, or just felt I was about to give up, I would open a Snickers bar and take one bite. I would open one Pepsi and take one or two sips, and somehow, be able to go on for the next few hours. And I did not have to leave his side to go to the cafeteria or grill.

I will never forget the actions of this good woman who does, in fact, love us. She sacrificed time, money, and effort to help me make it through the worst time of my life, all the time dealing with a very ill husband of her own. She knew what it was like because she was often right where I was at the time. She cared, and she showed that she did. I call these people in my life my own Jude 22 Club. GinGee’s husband died last year while on a trip to his home state to bury his beloved mother. I prayed that people were as good to her as she was to me.

Some having compassion, make a difference. (Jude 22)

I will continue this thought in my next column unless I change my mind.

God bless each of our readers as we begin our journey into the brand new year of 2018. May we all join and become active members of the Jude 22 Club.

Brenda Cannon Henley can be reached at (409) 781-8788, or


Facebook Twitter
You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

One Response to “Don’t allow personal needs to overtake you”

  1. Laura Ann Burell says:

    I agree with what you say. It’s surprising who helps and who doesn’t. It all helps to get thru it all.

    You are a very compassionate person! May God bless.

Leave a Reply

Site by