Showing Up

By Jenny Dendinger

Hurricane season started a little early for us this year, but instead of bad weather threatening our future, many of our close family and friends found themselves facing cancer diagnoses, surgeries and hospital stays. Suddenly, our loved ones were fighting the perfect storm of anxiety as they struggled to navigate these difficult and unexpected hurdles, and all we could do was try our best to support them.

One of the many blessings of homeschooling is flexibility with our days. We can pack up our books and do school in the car, at Grandee’s house or even in hospital waiting rooms. We can also pause if we need to take a break.

We didn’t have to be there for grandpa’s surgery, but the smile on his face proved the value of waking up early and greeting him with hugs before he went back. He tried to insist it wasn’t necessary for us to go through all that trouble, but I squeezed his hand and reassured him that we were right where we needed to be.

At first, walking our neighbor’s dog seemed like such a small gesture, but it helped to remove that unnecessary worry from his mind and allowed him to focus on caring for his wife at the hospital. It was the perfect way for my family to show up for them in their time of need.

Praying the rosary for our loved ones on our morning walk has also been powerful. These prayers can feel like a much-needed hug, especially when facing times of uncertainty.

While book work is important, these are the lessons that I prioritize when it comes to my children’s education. Algebra can only take them so far.  Knowing how to show up for people with compassion and kindness is a skill that I hope and pray will be ingrained in their hearts and regularly put to good use as my children grow up and take flight.

“I can’t do big things, but I want all I do, even the smallest thing, to be for the greater glory of God,” wrote St. Dominic Savio.


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