Sunday, September 15, 2013
A Better Class of Friends (Part 1)
I am just FULL of things that I feel the need to get out of my head and always with the idea in mind that if anything were to happen to me (and it will), that there will be something left for my kids and grand kids to go back and visit and read. I hope it won't all be funny pics or my passion for equality, but also the knowledge that I am gaining along the way.
For this reason, I wanted to talk about friends.
Friends weigh in tremendously at this moment. I am in a low pit that almost reaches China now. At the end of a horrific breakup when I already feel completely emotionally depleted, I find out that my father has terminal brain cancer. My bed and I have become quite intimate as I only leave it when I need to get up to go see Dad in the hospital for the 2 hours that I am allotted each day where he isn't in physical therapy re-learning how to brush his teeth or walk.
However, at least every few hours, I get a text, Facebook message or call from a friend. Some of them are old, some of them are new. Some of them are closer than a sister and some of them are acquaintances who have put themselves out there to minister to my broken spirit. They always ask me the same thing, though: "What do you need?" I don't know how to answer.
What do I need?
I need a miracle. I need a hug. I need my lawn mowed. I need for you to ignore me when I tell you "I'm fine, you don't need to come over." Please come over. Take me for a walk. Tell me something good going on in your life so I can be happy for you. Bring your puppy or baby over. Call me so I can hear your voice. Send me topless selfies. (unless you are a man). Ask me to help you with something so I don't feel so utterly useless. Or help me fix my oven. Bring me wine and have a glass with me. Tell me about how shitty your ex is. I want to hear how you caught your teenager sneaking out or how you exacted revenge upon an enemy. Take my mind far, far away from where it is. I spend way too much time here...
For some reason, I can't say these things to the people who ask me what I need.
That's why I am so appreciative to the friends who don't just say "I'm here" but they really are here - on my doorstep. Not asking me what I need but anticipating it. These are the better class of friends; the friends who have helped pay my bills while my dad is sick so I can spend time with him and help my parents out. The friends who came to the hospital and cried with me when my world was ending. The friend who bought a parking pass to the hospital, put gas in my car and cleaned my kitchen sink. The friend who kept my inbox full of happy videos of playful otters, Job Bon Jovi and laughing babies - all specifically with me in mind. The friend who took me to dinner and shared with me how she coped with her mom's cancer and passed along her wisdom and sent me home with a gift bag including rock-n-roll tattoos and toy soldiers. The friend who called me from Milwaukee to tell me about her experience with Glioblastoma and about losing her mother. The friend who came over to sit with me on my carport swing and just talked about nothing... about everything.
Do you have these friends? Are you one of these friends?
These are the people who there should be a different title for. Some word that means "Far above friend, particularly committed, a better class of friend" needs to be invented. They don't just speak friendship... they DO friendship. And there should be a greeting card for thanking them for saving me. One that says nothing... and says everything.