Sometimes in our lives, we need that help of other people.
I’ve got lots of experiences in my upbringing where other people stepped in and helped me. Let me tell you about two of them.
My mom went to work of necessity, of split family, parents divorced, mom went to work, and with the five kids that she had to raise, me being the youngest of them, we couldn’t be completely unsupervised. We weren’t quite old enough to manage that, and so we went to friends house quite often.
Well, one of the families that I went to was the Lundstroms, and Beverly Lundstrom became for me a second mom. She loved me like one of her own children. At least that’s how I felt when I was there. I remember one time, this was during the summer and I was older, we’re whittling on the porch. I got a stick from the tree, I got a knife, and I’m whittling. Well, I’m whittling towards my hand instead of away from it, and of course, oh dang, I get a big cut in my thumb and it starts bleeding. I didn’t know what to do. It was a lot of blood. It scared me. Probably a little bit of shock at that age. Wrapped it with toilet paper, and I remember saying to my siblings who weren’t sure what to do, “Probably call mom on the phone and ask her what to do.”
I said, “Beverly knows best,” and I ran out the door and ran down the street to go to Beverly’s house. She was our second mom. She took me in, she looked at it, she actually drove me downtown to have my mom look at it and see if she thought I needed stitches or not. We decided that to just go with a butterfly band-aid or something, a larger band-aid, and of course it was fine. It probably wasn’t as bad as … You see that much blood and it looks a little scary. That’s the kind of help that Beverly was for me as a second mom.
Fast forward a little bit. Now dad’s not in our lives. I get acquainted with a man down the street, around the corner. His name is Mark Gould. In fact, he became like a surrogate dad to me. He would come over to our house and helped me fix the brakes on mom’s car. Show me how to do it. I had no idea how to do it. He would teach me that stuff. Come to think of it, I think I smashed my thumb and it bled on that one, too. There’s a theme there, I guess. But Mark was just so giving. I’d go camping with him and his family when they would go. I’d go over his house on Sundays and watch football and eat his food and play foosball on his foosball table. He took me under his wing. In fact, he was such a positive influence in me that I’ve actually started a YouTube channel to help boys growing up without a dad, my stepdad.org, primarily in memory of what he did for me.
In your life, you probably examples of people that stepped in that helped fill gaps in your own life. I hope you’ve got some because we all have gaps. Not only that, even if we don’t, there are people out there that we can learn from that will help us as we grow. So, just two memories or memories of two particular people that were very, very special in my life that helped me at critical times. If you fast forward to adulthood I could tell you even more, because there’s a lot of people that have helped me over time. But if there’s someone that can help you, don’t be afraid to reach out and ask and receive that help.