Posted in Self Help


Old friends, current friends, new friends. How well do you stay in touch with them? Better yet how often are you the one initiating contact?

I was the friend who was good at communicating. Good at remembering birthdays and special occasions. Good at sending cards or presents. Good at staying in touch. Always hosting parties and planning get togethers.

Eventually, that me faded into the darkness. Perhaps, the darkness I live amongst these days.

I don’t do a very good job at calling anyone lately. I rarely send birthday cards anymore, and I’m doing well if you get a text on your actual birthday.

Don’t take it personal. It’s not about you at all. Trust me.

And, I’m sorry.

One of my college roommates visited me this past weekend, and it was so great to see her. I wish we lived closer and could meet on a whim for lunch. We stay in touch. Not as much as I would like to, but as much as I’m capable of at the moment. It’s not that I don’t want to talk more, see her more, communicate better, it’s just that I don’t intiate it often enough.

I’m not going to say I don’t have time. I could make time. We always make time for what or WHO is important to us if we are honest. At the moment, I just don’t want to always do it. Maybe I need to, maybe I should, but some days I just can’t.

She works, she has a husband, she has a life. She gets it. She assured me she is always there for me, always available to talk, has a spare room if we need a place to stay overnight. But, she said she doesn’t always know what to say and doesn’t want to say the wrong thing. She’s a great listener, so she listens, encourages and is supportive.

Like I told her, you don’t have to say anything.

A friend loveth at all times, and a brother is born for adversity.

Proverbs 17:17

I appreciate all the calls and text messages I get from my friends and family. I welcome them, I really do. I don’t appreciate the ones who just want the story. I’m not trying to hurt any feelings, I’m just being real. And, if I’m anything right now, I’m real. Sorry if that steps on any toes, but like I said, it’s not about you.

My life is full of ups and downs. There are only a few people who I talk to on a regular basis, who keep me grounded, and I’m pretty sure you know who you are. It’s just the way it is.

I won’t deny I need a village. I need a village of encouragement, of prayers, of constant positivity. I need a village of support for my kids, of understanding, of compassion, of caring hearts and constant praying.

And, if you’re part of my village, thank you from the bottom of my heart.

Like I said, I love hearing from my friends, getting text messages or voicemails from you; know that I’m just not always good at communicating back right now and being the best kind of friend. I have good intentions. But, like I said don’t take it personal, it’s not about you.

Please keep the text messages, the voicemails, the “hey I just wanted to let you know I’m thinking about you,” or the “you are on my mind and in my prayers” messages coming. I like hearing from my friends, I really do.

I want all of you to know I will be here for you if you need me. I will listen to you cry about the fight you had with your husband. I will give you a hug and tell you it’s going to be fine when your son tells you he hates living at home. I will always be here for you to listen to your problems, let you vent, give you a hug, go to lunch with you, or whatever it is you need. I really will.

I’m not too busy for my friends. Not too wrapped up in my own problems. And, my problems aren’t more important than yours. My problems are just mine, and they consume me every day. They sidetrack me with distractions, but I’m here.

Some days, I live in another world all by myself. One that just grips me like a vise. I get lost in my own mind. A place I imagine is similiar to what Hell is like, a dark pit where I am just spiraling out of control, falling to the bottom of an endless pit.

It’s OK. I don’t go there as often as I once did. More often now, I pray and talk to God.

When we first got the cancer diagnosis I told some friends, but didn’t tell everyone. Of course people wanted to know what was going on, but I didn’t want to talk about it. I needed some space on the subject, I needed some time to digest it all.

By the next spring pretty much everyone knew and I felt I couldn’t go to the grocery without someone approaching me. Sometimes it was without any very nice thought out words, but hey, I know it’s hard to know what to say. Sometimes, I just don’t want to talk about it.

Anyway, when we got bad news again last summer, I turned into a hermit-like person, and stayed away from everyone. It made life easier in some ways, but I felt alienated from my own world. I guess because I was in a sense and in another dark place.

It’s kind of like being at that party, underdressed with everyone looking at you, talking under their breath, wondering what you are doing there anyway. All of a sudden you are in the spotlight, up on a tight rope, alone and without a net. No where to go and no one to catch you.

Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their work: If one falls down, his friend can help him up. But pity the man who falls and has no one to help him up! 

Ecclesiastes 4:9-10

I’m sorry I don’t talk more in the group chat, I’m sorry I don’t go to lunch always. I’m sorry we don’t come for the get togethers. I’m sorry for everything.

I have good intentions of always doing things, being a part of socializing and in the crowd. Some days I would just rather be alone in my own house, than alone in a crowd.

It has been too long since I’ve seen my daughters. My child had the flu twice within a month, is still working on getting well, over an illness. We have college visits and college decisions, we have sports, we have other family worries, and we have all the normal concerns of a family. Just like everyone else.

And then, we have cancer.

I’m sorry if I’m not as friendly as I should be. I’m sorry I don’t engage in small talk. I’m sorry if it seems awkward at times to be around me. Please don’t feel like you have to treat me any differently if you see me at the ball field or the grocery or anywhere. Don’t be obliged to talk about anything in particular or bring up the elephant in the room. Just act normal. It’s OK, you aren’t suppose to say anything in particular or know what to say.

That goes for all of my family, too.

None of us know how to act, how to avoid the obvious. We are just doing our best to be an ordinary family.

Any kind of normality is our aim.

And, that elephant in the room? We are just dealing with him one bite at a time.