Just Show Up


I am a doula. I am a “woman who serves.” Serving others is not only what I do; it’s who I am. So this week when I found myself in a position of receiving, it was uncomfortable. And it was beautiful.

My grandmother died. A tornado hit my community. My husband and I worried about finances. And a squirrel took up residence in my minivan, tearing it apart and pooping everywhere. It has been a rough week.

What does all this have to do with being a doula?

This week I was forced out of my comfort zone as I stepped back and retreated into my own life to take care of myself and the people I love. I did not ask for help. Asking for help is not something I do as a lifelong server.

So other people stepped in. Other people who have been called to serve. My community. People I barely know. People I do not know at all. They showed up for me. They showed up for my community.

People all around the Annapolis area dedicated their time and money to the Kent Islanders affected by the tornado. People brought tons and tons of food, water and ice every day to the communities affected. They showed up with their able bodies and helped clear branches and debris, expecting nothing in return. They donated money and gift cards to the displaced families. People everywhere served the Kent Island community.

I have never lost someone close to me before. This whole loss-wake-funeral-burial has been a blur. I had no idea what to do or how to act. I was not in a position to serve anyone. I did what little I could to help my family and then just moved through life the best I could. And I started to notice that there were people serving me. Quietly, unexpectedly. People showing up. With food, with hugs, with help, with words.

My community doula’d me through my time of need.

And I am inspired.

The people who have been my “people who serve” have showed me what it feels like to be on the receiving end of loving, unconditional support. You all have given me new resolve to serve my clients better. To show up for them. To support them. To love them, unconditionally.

If you’ve been my doula this week, thank you. You have inspired me.