Helen | Onewhero

“I had a friend that came over and helped me clean my house on Saturday, and she is an inspiration to me. She’s an encouragement and someone who challenges me to do better.

It’s a relatively new friendship. We know each other from church and a couple of weeks ago I just had some second-hand carpet laid down, and so I had to empty out a couple of bedrooms and closets and cupboards and I was just having a slight meltdown at church and she said, look I really love organising, and I’ll come over and help you. So she came then and she came again on Saturday, and she tells me that she wants to come again this Saturday. So, I’m really, it’s just wonderful. She’s a really down to earth person and the first time she came she was just incredible. She actually brought lunch for us as well, and we had a fantastic day.

As you can probably tell by my accent I was born in Australia. Then I went through lots of jobs, I was working in Taiwan and I was there for nine years and then a guy who was soon to be husband started writing to me and I ended up living in New Zealand. I’ve been living here for 20 years, and I was working as a youth worker for many of those years, but now I’m my husband’s 24/7 caregiver. He has a chronic pain illness, and so that’s really who I am. We have a small lifestyle block that I work with sheep and chickens and try to sustain life. I have two teenage daughters.

Friendship is vital. We’re created as relational beings, and so we need each other, and I believe very strongly in both friendship and community. I don’t think that we’re supposed to be made an island and a lot of people these days, I think they feel they have to do it all, and it’s really quite humbling and can be embarrassing to ask somebody for help, but I think that help’s really important. To be able to both offer help and receive help is an important thing for community, and we are all stronger together when we are part of a community and helping each other, being there for each other, and a lot of people go, I mean life deals us all shit, to be honest. Sorry I shouldn’t use that, but life deals us all really difficult challenging situations, so if we can help each other, then we all have a much stronger base to work through, and love can flow in so many different ways.”

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