November 28, 2010
When Love Is Prickly
The call came in over a year ago that my good friend's parent suffered a series of strokes and that the prognosis was not good. This call began a year of not knowing what to say and not knowing what to do. Tears and heartache are hard after a life of laughter and fun times together.
I began a journey of introspection because I wanted to be present for my friend. I quickly learned that there is no manual for situations like these ... at least not a quick read!
How do we love someone who is hurting? Life throws so many challenges at us. Any of us can befall a tremendous episode at any time! But what is one to do when someone they love has taken their turn to dance with destiny? How to remain faithful and true to a best bud in time of need is a true test, especially to those firmly nestled in their own fragile lives.
I am finding it to be an extremely delicate balance caring for the lace pieces of my own world as this dear, and close pal of mine, battles a parent being ill.
We were best friends in kindergarten - a pair for life, inseparable even during middle school. Our high school years were spent apart, but our lives melded again during our young adult years, especially after my marriage fell apart.
Relations require commitment and sometimes a bit of psychic work.
What do they need? Hating to pry and meddle, I often do little things such as a meal or a call ... but is it ever enough?
Sometimes it appears they simply want to be left alone. Yet, are you really supposed to leave someone to themselves - especially if they have no spouse or children to lean on for support (and distraction)?
Without a doubt, the thing to do in my situation is to saddle up, warm my hugs and be there in any way that I can. Lending an ear, late night text reminders to eat and to take care are certainly a part of the recipe. I simply try to do what I would want someone to do for me and hope that it is right.
Relationships are tricky. People say that their need is little, but in truth we all require a lot. Typically a good friend desires to be all when the other's world falls apart, yet, I am sure we have all seen friends run for the hills when a sad downturn presents.
I guess love is often prickly, yet when you love someone, really, its not.