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November 8, 2004 - "The Ladder" by Sherrie Drake


Welcome to 2TheHeart!

"We're all connected through compassion. It's about taking care of each other as if we were all part of an extended family." ~Eva Larue Callahan 


It's so nice to be back! I want to thank all of you who sent such kind, supportive emails! I am hoping to be able to send 2TheHeart out more regularly now! Much has changed at our house and a new baby is on the way (due in May)!

If you have a story that you would like to share this week for Veteran's Day, please email it to me! I am also looking for stories of gratitude or Thanksgiving for this month! If you have submitted a story in recent months, I will let you know if it will be published. I loved this short story of friendship (and the spider ladder made me laugh -- you'd never catch anyone at OUR house doing that!) - I hope it blesses the start of your new week.

"The Ladder"
by Sherrie Drake

My friend Mildred was making slow progress recovering from a stroke. It had been weeks and she still struggled to sit up and speak. Each time I visited her in the nursing home, the lines of frustration on her face grew a little deeper. The one word she was able to utter was, "Why?" Nothing I said brought her comfort. I struggled too. In my prayers I asked, Lord, how can I help her?

One evening I said good-bye to Mildred and headed to my mom's for dinner. I went to the bathroom to wash up and noticed something peculiar: a long strip of tissue draped from the countertop into the sink. "Mom," I called out, "what's this paper doing here?"

"Oh, that," my mother said. "There was a spider stuck in the sink. He kept sliding back and I wanted to help him up, so I made him a ladder."

"I guess it worked," I replied. "He's not there anymore." I removed the "ladder," thinking of my friend Mildred. She was stuck too, and I had been working so hard to lift her spirits. Maybe what she needed was more like what Mom had offered the marooned spider.

On my next visit Mildred again asked, "Why?" I didn't try to find a reason. I reached across the bedcover and took her hand. In the silence, I saw how friendship could be a ladder. No words or explanations necessary, just the simple reassurance of friendship, and that my friend Mildred would not face her struggle alone.

Sherrie Drake copyright 2004

Sherrie lives in Parker City, Indiana and writes for our affiliate, Guideposts Magazine. You can respond to her story by emailing us at 2TheHeart.


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