With the commencement of a new year, I found myself reminiscing and remembering old songs. You know: such songs as: “Auld Lang Syne,” “Make New Friends, But Keep the Old,” “Why Can’t We Be Friends,” “Friends: How Many of Us Have Them?” and “That’s What Friends Are For.”
I suppose the aforementioned songs came to mind because during the last three months of 2021, I had a severe ear infection, an eye infection and a bout with pneumonia and all three things made me “wanna holler and throw up both my hands.” But, between going to the IU Emergency Clinic, talking to my real friends and Jesus, I made it. However, it became very trying, so trying I didn’t feel like going to the library or writing.
Thus, I said to myself, I need to continue writing in my Gratitude Journal, and when Friendship Day rolls around, I’m going to let my real friends know I sincerely appreciate their calls, texts and demonstrations of care and concern.
I mention “real friends” because some who call themselves friends are imposters and really wolves in sheep’s clothing asking for your car, your money, your clothes and your talents without reciprocating. BUT, real friends don’t do such.
My real friends have come out of the woodwork because they know I do not walk well due to osteo and rheumatoid arthritis. However, I have tried not to let it get me down. And, as Mr. Curtis Mayfield told us, I “keep on pushin’.” Yet, ailments and this pandemic did make me put on the brakes for a while.
As I once shared, when we had the lockdown, I didn’t know what to do. So, I literally talked to Jesus because He’s my best friend. And everyone knows we have a friend in Jesus. He, Jesus heard my supplication. And the next day I received several calls from acquaintances calling to check on me. One said: “I called to check on you and see if you need anything.” This is something I shall never forget.
Even now, there are some who bring me tasty, nutritious foods. Some will go to the store. Some will drive me places if I ask. And some do errands. Yes, I am blessed. And, as one said: “God’s got your back, and so do I.”
Do you know how overjoyed this has made me feel? Sure, there are days my legs hurt and my hands hurt. Thus, I writhe in pain; so, many times for me it’s hammer time, and I tell people: “You can’t touch this.”
Still, at times like these, I remember the lyrics to Carole King’s song: “You Got a Friend,” because former students, as adults, have come to realize how much I supported them. And, they have been present for me – keeping me safe and giving assistance like real friends. They have proven how much they care because I guess they still know in their heart; I care about them.
And, just because it’s cold, try not to give others the cold shoulder. But don’t let them use you up, for it’s important to save oneself so you’ll still have something to give. Sure, this pandemic has changed our “modas operandi”. And life as we knew it will never be the same. Yet, some change is good for the mind, body, and soul. What changes do you plan to make this year? And what are some of the take-aways and lessons you’ve learned throughout these trying times?
For me, it’s simple. I’ve learned there are some really good people out there. I know because people volunteer to assist me at the gas station. And, if I decide to be bold and grocery shop for myself, there have been women who have seen me struggling to reach cans or cranberry juice on upper shelves, and they tell their spouse: “Help her.” (See, I’m kinda short.) Also, there are some who have escorted me to my car to put my groceries in the trunk when I’m striving to be Miss Independent. So, this too makes me happy.
And, finally, as TLC, chimes, “What about your friends?” – Are your friends down for you?