I like to think of myself as being tough and strong. I’ve never found myself overly emotional about most things, but some yes. And yet now and then something that doesn’t even impact my life in the same way as deaths or my illness comes along smacks me in the face. And I am rendered anything but tough or strong.
When I read cases of people who are denied medical coverage for things simply because their genes got a little mixed up when they were knit together (completely beyond their control), I get emotional. When I stop and consider the horrible conditions some people live with or work with, yeah that can get me caught up as well.
I won’t deny it, when I get caught up in this stuff I feel anything but strong. But of course to not feel anything would be the sign of true weakness. No one said life would be without pain. No one said that when your friends have chronic illnesses you won’t find yourself ducking away for a good cry while they aren’t looking.
It’s been one of those moments dear readers. One of those days where I have had to accept that a dear friend who is one of the strongest people I know is going through something I cannot even begin to help with let alone fix. All I can do for this friend is be there. And it seems like being there is absolutely useless, yet it’s what my friend needs and it’s something I can do. And my friend needs to know it’s okay to cry, it’s okay if we both cry.
How do you define friendship? Is it sharing common interests and enjoying each other’s company? Is it just an incredible connection with another that works through whatever it is that is happening at a given time?
If it’s sharing of common interests then I’m not sure how I can explain e four-footed one and I. Yes sure she is a dog, but she is a loyal friend too. Whenever judges me, demands too much from me or cares if I’m in a less than decent mood. But her interests turn towards bones, chasing squirrels and rabbits, as well as finding foul-smelling things to roll around in. I can’t say that we share those interests.
Do we share an incredible connection? Sure, but it’s not through work or any other set of circumstances. Day to-day life then perhaps? Perhaps.
Maybe we don’t share a friendship in the most common sense of the word. But she is more than a companion. Family? Yes but not through blood or kin. Adopted? Yes as I adopted her and she adopted me back.
Do we have an odd authority dynamic in our relationship? To some degree, but most often she thinks we are equal. To be fair I’m pretty certain she doesn’t understand that she’s a dog. And she knows me deepest fears, my darkest secrets and wildest dreams. If she shares them with anyone, it has yet to make its way back to me.
Shes there when I need her,although not always physically. And I’m more an okay with that. She accepts me at my worst, my inability to make time for her or understand what she says. And she’s seen me when I’m confused beyond belief or silly beyond words. She just doesn’t care.
A friend phoned to say he was stopping by for a coffee and a chat. He said he’d be arriving by two pm. He phoned back a half hour later to say his plans had changed and he wasn’t sure he would be able to arrive as his wife had decided to join him on some errands.
Two pm came and went as did three and four. By this time I had decided to just get on with the other things I had postponed as I had no desire to be elbow deep in gooey dough when guests arrived. So I pulled out my supplies, I measured and I mixed. As I was getting one item into the oven to bake, my phone rang. Thankfully I had just cleaned my hands and was in between gooey dough on hand moments.
It was my friend again, apologizing for not making earlier. He thought he’d swing by around six or six thirty at the latest if that was alright. Given my other plans I told him that I was busy until six thirty and had only an hour I could spend visiting with him. He seemed fine with this.
At six fifteen his wife phoned me to give me a piece of her mind. Evidently my time stipulations were rude in her eyes. She said that they had taken longer than they had planned because after errands she insisted he have lunch with her. And then she wanted some things done around the house. She really wanted him home until at least eight tonight and she couldn’t understand why I wasn’t more accommodating towards their schedule.
I was left rather speechless by all of this. I was left even more speechless when my friend arrived looking more than a little exhausted. As he grabbed a comfortable chair and accepted a drink he told me that his marriage is going to be the death of him. His wife, he said, expects him to work off her schedule and plans when he isn’t lecturing. His weekends belong to her, he said with a grimace.
Not really being in his situation, I could only sit and listen to him, which is really all he wanted anyway. Before he was leaving my house, his wife phoned him to make sure he was on his way home and the dam of silence I had built finally broke. I told him about the phone call I received from his wife before he came over.
I felt awful for telling him what I did, but I couldn’t let go on thinking that she was only telling him things. I felt he needed to know that on top of her dictating his spare time, she was trying to control his time through his friends.
Perhaps I was wrong and out-of-place, but I’d hope if Beloved was that controlling me that way someone would bring it to my attention.
UI received the most beautiful flower bouquet today. No special occasion, mom special reason. Well other than that a few friends attended a workshop on how to arrange flowers. I was supposed to attend the workshop, but due to lupus I had to cancel, thankfully one of my friends was able to make use of my ticket. In return she sent over the arrangement she had created.
The workshop was supposed to teach you how to create effortless and beautiful looking arrangements, both in vases and hand tied. The bouquet that arrived at my house was a beautiful riot of colour and perfume, tied up in a delicate pale lavender ribbon.
Based on my lovely gift, the worship completely delivered all it promised. And based on my friend’s phone call to thank me for thinking of her and offering her my ticket Id say she has completely run with the lessons!
She phoned me in between cutting flowers from her yard to create arrangements for both her mother and mother-in-law. And she had made plans with the other friends who attended the workshop to go flower shopping tomorrow so they could create some more arrangements to take to some seniors homes. (She told me that they hoped I’d come with them and learn from them. If I’m not well enough or have enough energy for the full deal, they’d stop by after picking up the flowers so I could still learn or just spend time with them while they make the arrangements.)
Beloved is currently collecting a count of the flowers we have so he can cut some tomorrow for arrangement lessons. He wasn’t able to sign up for the workshop and couldn’t use my ticket today because he was with me, but perhaps tomorrow he will have a chance to learn. I bet the smell of the bouquets the ladies make tomorrow will smell especially sweet and heavenly the way mine does. Not because of the flowers used, although that helps, rather because the simple gesture of care and surprise that goes into making something for someone when s/he doesn’t expect anything.
Today I’ve been dreaming about food. Well dreaming is probably the wrong word, lusting is probably more accurate. I have been lusting after food today. No don’t misunderstand dear friends, I love good food and I love sharing it with people I enjoy so it’s not unusual for me to think about food. I’ve been known to plan whole menus as a means of pleasantly passing time and I’ve no shame in this either.
However today I’ve been running on the see food, think food, desire food sort of cycle. I blame my medications partially for this shift in my food relationship. I also blame people sharing delicious ideas and placed with me all in a very short period of time. This sharing lead me to feel like I need to try it all, right now. Not that I’m complaining about people sharing these things with me; whether we break bread together or separately but shared experiences I think is a wonderful thing indeed.
The thing is, though, between my medication, my lupus flare and the insane hamster on the wheel that is my brain, I fee exhausted just trying to figure out what to do and try and when. And of course this makes my health teeter totter a bit more. Again I am not complaining for I am blessed, truly blessed to have wonderful people to share food with and more importantly to not having to worry about where the next meal comes from. I just need to tame the lusting of said food into something more manageable so food isn’t falling off my plate!
A while ago I stayed at a bed and breakfast which had the most amazing food and quilts. Not together mind you, but the food was some of the most delicious and simple food I’ve ever had and as for the quilt, well it was perfect in weight and comfort.
It was the kind of place that you want to share with someone, or maybe it was the experience that I wanted to share most of all with a certain someone. At any rate it was a lovely visit that i know a certain person in my life would have enjoyed with me.
You see this person is an amazing friend, one I’ve unfortunately taken for granted at times, ignored at times and such. She is one of the most incredible people I know. When I told her about my diagnosis of lupus she went out and did her own research, not just to understand the illness, but also how to be involved in and incredibly supportive way.
The delicious food was something that I know she would have enjoyed and we would have had a wonderful time sharing and tasting things. As for the quilt, well this lady makes the most amazing hand stitched quilts. Anyone who receives any of her handy work (she does al types of amazing, creative things made with love) is truly lucky for they are made with love and that love simply wraps around you.
Without ever saying it, her support, her love and her positivity has always been open to me. Sadly I’ve been too stubborn at times to receive or be open to her positiveness. As I lack creative skills,I am unable to develop a quilt for her to let her know how important she has been in my journey in life with lupus.
It was written in his eyes, the pure look of love and affection. He leaned in against me, his solid body feeling reassuring and warm. Without saying a word he let me know he was there for me. Jack is as dependable as he is loyal.
If I needed any more confirmation that he cared about me, all I had to do was note how today he opted to stay near me while I was resting. He chose to stay inside rather than sitting quietly rather than heading outside for a nice, long walk. Normally Jack loves taking time for himself by going for a long walk, especially when the weather is just right. Today the weather was just right for that kind of walk. And Jack chose to stay inside with me instead.
And if I needed concrete proof about Jack, all I really had to do was look at how wagging tail or feel his warm, wet tongue as he runs it over my hand. He didn’t even care that my four-footed, trusty side-kick wasn’t sure about his presence. He seemed to know he was safe, needed and loved. And he trusted his new owner, my friend, when she left him with me while she went to go do some shopping for me.
There is nothing like the way a dog, no matter how old or what sort of life it has had, can forgive and love humans. And in time my own four-footed companion will become as sure about Jack as I am. Unconditional love and acceptance are truly the most beautiful gifts in life.