Until I was 18 I had hardly any friends. Due to being moved around, being very quiet and having the words “bully me” virtually tattooed on my forehead. It was a brave person who was my friend and I usually had one at a time, and for many years at a time, none.
When I left home and started a new life 30 years ago I made many friends, some of whom I still see regularly. Of course in those days there was no texting, emailing, twittering and Facebook. In those days it was by talking directly face to face and by phone or by card and letter that you kept in touch. I am lucky to have many people who I can call friend and they would say the same about me.
I know you may all be wondering where I am going with this…….I am getting there.
So in the current crisis I have found a new reality has begun to form. The reality is about what constitutes a friend and about me. In a previous post I talked about a friendship I had ended.
Apart from this one person in my life I felt like I had been a fairly good friend but I know not brilliant. Good face to face but not great otherwise. Blimey, I was never even that good at keeping in touch with my family.
I somehow just found out how to be a better friend and I am being educated by the many who’s lives I have touched over the years.
The years have passed since the heyday of the letter and the telephone call. I somehow failed to take the leap into texting, emailing and messaging people. This partly due to age and time limits I know but but also I had become insular. This is not a knock me session, just the truth as I see. I think I was protecting myself because I couldn’t take on more than what I had to deal with.
The Internet and phone age happened during a period in my life that was already full with children (another story entirely), people who needed help and work. I lived life to the max.
Well, life has moved on.
I lay awake tonight thinking about how so many people have took the time to text, send a card, message me….getting in touch gently and letting me know they were there, offering a listening ear or a practical piece of advice, offering help. It has been amazing and wonderful…………and I have learnt.
It has left me feeling that in the past I could have done what they have done for me and I haven’t because I haven’t thought to. If I have thought to I haven’t followed through.
I have learnt that to be a friend you don’t have to do very much but you do need to make the effort. With the minimal effort of messaging me or leaving a comment on my personal Facebook page many people have made me feel better. Each day I have had texts from all sorts of people, unexpected cards with simple messages and even the odd bunches of flowers. I am told by a variety of people that they are praying for me. I am not in anyway religious but on a Sunday morning I know I am in someone’s thoughts and it is reassuring.
I am not a needy person but at this time in my life I am in need. People I hardly know understand this in way that I have not over the years.
If you are reading this and you know of someone who is in need of a boost – send that text, or card, message; let them know you are there. Don’t worry about getting a response. You may not ever know the effect of what you have done but chances are it will be welcomed.