The Big Payback 4


Well maybe it’s not the big payback.  A better title might be – paying it backwards.

I have been given the opportunity to return a favor to a friend who was very good to me when I was in college.  She took me in when I had nowhere to go.  She gave me food when I was hungry.    In the ensuing years, our lives took different directions.  I had children and got married. She was single.  I lived the city life, she lived the suburban dream. 

Our contact has been infrequent. Some years there was no contact at all.  Life happens.

Recently, a closer friend of hers, informed her network that she was in need.  Her father, with whom she lives, had a rapid decline in physical health and mental acuity.  She’s a single child and her mother passed a few years back.  Determined to keep him at home, she needs help and relief for the hours when the home worker is not there.

Thanks to modern technology a cadre of friends, church members, colleagues, etc., have formed a community of care, using the website:  Lotsa Helping Hands.

As the website explains:

We created Lotsa Helping Hands to answer the question what can I do to help?
Lotsa Helping Hands is a lifeline.  It is a free, private, web-based community that allows the coordination of activities and management of volunteers with a group calendar.

I am delighted to be able to be part of the community that surrounds my friend in her time of me as she helped me so very long ago when we were young.  At that time, her head was clearly on her shoulders and mine was drifting in la-la land.  I finally landed.

Like life does, we have circled back into each others’ orbs…reconnected.  This connection provides a preview of what lies ahead for each of us if we live long enough.  I hope we have the love, time and helping hands of others to help us in our time of need.


About Candelaria Silva

Candelaria Silva-Collins is a marketing, community outreach and programming consultant; writer; and trainer/facilitator who lives in Boston, Massachusetts. She has designed and facilitated workshops on a wide variety of topics including communication, facilitation, job search skills, team building, and parenting issues. She currently coordinates the Community Membership Program of the Huntington Theatre Company. Her work as Director of ACT Roxbury was profiled in several publications, including The Creative Communities Builders Handbook. Candelaria’s children’s stories, short stories, essays and reviews have been published in local and national publications and she is an active blogger. Her publications include the booklets, Handling Rejection; Pushing through Shyness: Networking Tips when You’re Shy, Slow to Warm Up or Just don’t Feel you Belong; and Real Questions about Sex & Relationships for Teens: A Discussion Guide for Parents. She has served on the boards of Goddard College, Wheelock Family Theatre, Boston Foundation for Architecture, and Discover Roxbury. She is currently Chair, Designators of the Henderson Foundation.

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4 thoughts on “The Big Payback

  • jim

    We don’t always get to pay people back. I’m not sure, but I think maybe we don’t USUALLY get to pay people back, not on the big things. This is a great story.

  • Candelaria

    I think we often get to pay things forward.  Someone does you a “solid” and you do a “solid” for someone else.
    It goes around and comes back to you indirectly.  It is rare to have such a direct opportunity to payback and I am grateful.
    Thanks, as always, for your comment.

  • miruspeg

    Candelaria like Jim said….”This is a great story”!

    I have lost track of many close friends over the years but I am sure they would be there for me and me for them if the opportunity arose.
    I often send my “lost friends” light and love when I am out walking so in a small way I am still connected with them.

    Hope you managed to get to the garden centre last weekend and buy some lovely plants.

    Big hugs
    Peggy xxxxx