“It’s amazing how quickly someone can become a stranger; it’s even more amazing how quickly someone can become a treasured friend.” ~Unknown
The past six months have been unbelievably difficult for me.
My “normal” life turned upside down and inside out, as my beautiful daughter continues to fight a complex pain condition, which took us all by surprise one bright and sunny Monday afternoon. And literally, in a single heartbeat, just like that, instead of a regular routine day of school, work and afternoon activities, our time was consumed with juggling doctors, hospitals, tests, and specialists—all of us fully devoted with how to help her heal.
Oprah so aptly says that in life, lots of people want to ride with you when you’re in the limo, but what you really want is someone who will take the bus with you when the limo breaks down. Well, my friends, my limo didn’t just break down. It completely crashed, along with my world as I knew it.
And when days and nights are both sleepless and endless, and you’re not cruising luxuriously through life in your limo but rather doing your very best at any given moment to barely crawl from point A to B without breaking down yourself, you start to realize even more so the complex, beautiful, fragile, and priceless value of real, genuine, consistent friendship.
Sadly, a few people who I thought would walk me home sort of disappeared.
They may have jumped off at their desired station—and I’ve come to understand that it’s alright; I truly only wish them well. Perhaps the fear that this could happen to them was all too much to bear, I get that. Or perhaps they are giving me space, I don’t know. All I know, is they aren’t here.
Others not only ran to my bus, but jumped straight on, and continue to walk me home every single day. These people take the time to check in on me, hold my hand, let me cry, bring me food, make me laugh, and ensure I have enough coffee and love to keep on going through the day.
I love these friends with all my heart and am so deeply thankful to have them on my journey.
Here are some insights about people, relationships, and friendships from my bumpy bus ride that might be useful and comforting for you in your own interactions…
1. Two people can look at the exact same situation and see it completely differently.
I have always believed this, and I’m even more sure of this after hearing my friends repeatedly tell me how in awe they are of my unwavering strength and optimism while I have never felt more fragile, insecure, helpless, or scared. Perception is everything.