Time for the elephants to round up again. If somebody needed poster children for what it looks like to come together in a time of need, my four sisters and I would be it. We are far from perfect and have far from perfect relationships, but when a family member is in need, that mama bear instinct comes out and we jump in to take care.
I’m talking about bears, about elephants- ya, I’m all over the place. Let me explain.
Many years ago my oldest sister and her husband lost their dear friend in a tragic accident. As a family we did what we do- we came together and supported them, planned and arranged the entire reception; essentially took care of what needed to be done, swiftly and gracefully. A friend of my sister commented that we were like a bunch of elephants. Before we could jump in that he was calling us fat, he explained.
Elephants travel in herds. The women in the family stick together for life and are led by the matriarch of the family (at the time, my wonderful mother). When one of the herd is sick or injured, they all gather around to hold that elephant up, because if it lies down it becomes vulnerable, could possibly suffocate or not be able to escape a predator.
Since then, we have been proud to be “elephants”. We have embraced that analogy and have shown time and time again just how herd like we are. I really wish the dear Lord would stop giving us reasons to, but apparently this is what we were bred for. Come hell or high water, we take care of each other.
We may not talk on a daily basis, we may not agree on everything. But show us a herd member in need and we are there.
I have a herd member in need. I can’t wash away sadness or grief with a magic wand. I can’t change God’s (at times questionable) plan. But I can lend her some strength and hold her up. Because that’s what we do.
I feel like a quote that I love from Mother Teresa, I know God wouldn’t give me anything I can’t handle, I just wish he didn’t trust me so much.