noun: cheerleader; plural noun: cheerleaders
A member of a team that performs organized cheering, chanting, and dancing in support of a sports team.
Right. Let’s start by getting the negatives out in the open first.
Illness, as opposed to ailments (colds, coughs etc.) can be scary, debilitating & draining, gnawing away at self-esteem & confidence & cause a sense of despair, helplessness & loneliness & not just for the person who is sick.
Now that’s been acknowledged let’s our attention to one of the most important and positives aspects of illness that everyone deserves to have in their life: namely one or more Cheerleaders, who perhaps should be described as Cheerbringers more accurately.
After all, to be a real Cheerleader you have to be in school, College or University, slender, sporty, fit & perky, preferably blonde, female (unless you are one of the guys that help support the Pyramid),American, love apple pie (to look at not to eat) & be called Ellie-May or Brandon (if you are a guy) or similar! (Shameful sterotyping I know).
It’s nothing personal against Cheerleaders per se, but I suspect it’s highly questionable that when ill, you would necessarily appreciate or derive any feeling of well-being if a gaggle of Ellie-May’s & Brandon’s turned up in your home or hospital ward & started bouncing around cheering, dancing & chanting no matter how ‘organized’ they were.
Pom-pom waving in my face would run a serious risk of a punch on the nose from me at the moment, no matter how well intentioned the waivee & a human pyramid would most probably elicit a strong desire to find some way in which it could be collapsed.
“Aw Gee, Holly, that’s real mean of you” – you may be thinking if you are one of the Ellie-May’s of this world, sorry it isn’t meant to be, however, to sign up for someone who is ill or like me confronting cancer head on the skills & qualities required are very different.
Here’s a quick test to see if you qualify:
Someone you know tells you that they or someone they care about are ill/seriously ill do you :
a) Vaguely register what was said, make asympathic noise & then: say “anyway, let me finishing telling you
about what happened to me yesterday”.
b) Gaze at them sympathetically & say with all the sincerity you can muster “I will be there for you, any time,
night or day” while making a mental note to change your Face Book name, mobile number & landline
c) Look shocked or upset while you listen to the news & then say, “I’m not certain what I can do for you, but if
there is anything please tell me & if I can do it I will.”
If you answered
A) You are too self-absorbed to be a Cheerleader & probably have all emotional maturity of a traffic
cone , but that’s ok because you wouldn’t dream of offering anyway; but perhaps you should sign
up to learn to be a sports cheeleader?
B) You are an insincere glittery snake who just likes to look good & the person who is ill, their
friends & relatives will realise soon enough.
C) Congratulations you are either already a kind relative, a friend or frolleague & are perfect to
sign up for Cheerleading!
If you are thinking about becoming a Cheerleader for someone you know, here are some useful tips: they are about people with cancer, but could equally be applied to anyone going through any type of tough time right now…
I’ll return to this theme at another time, but for now enjoy your day Y’all!