Friday, November 19, 2010

Lessons from friendship...

I have a friend who is going through a very rough debilitating illness. It gets progressively worse, there is no cure, and someday it will end her life. The pain of this illness has sucked her into a great depression. She has her good days and bad days though the bad days seem to take over more often now. To see pictures of her you would not guess she is so sick, that's because she always seems to have a smile on her face. Two things seem to put that great smile on her face--her children and horses.

Nothing I say or do can take away her pain and that is difficult for me because I have always been a person who wants to ease other people's suffering. I want to make them feel better. In this case, what can I do? I can be her friend, listen to her, reassure her, and just be there for her when she needs me.

As I get older I learn more from my life experiences and the people I meet. My hope is that through my experiences I become a better person. I feel that there is a great lesson to be learned from my friend, something about appreciating life, friendship, and dealing with pain. I'm not afraid to say that I don't appreciate life as much as I should. I know I am not the only one either. I am also quite sure I do not put into it and get out of it what my friend has even in all her pain.  I can't believe I'm about to use a TV metaphor to explain this but... "Dying changes everything"... is basically true.  It changes how you look at life, how you handle everything from the moment you find out that it's happening to you.

My friend and I are the same age, less than two months apart. I think about how much pain she is in,  how she has everything to live for. She really appreciates life and so desperately wants to hold on to all the wonderful things she has and live as normal a life as possible. Then I think about myself and how I am still trying to figure out how to live my life and enjoy it. I try but I'm still not there. You know how you can look at a picture of someone smiling and you can see how much they absolutely love their life, all in that one smile? I want to be that person. I just don't know how to get there. What does it take? When do we figure it out? Do we really ever get it?

And so the lesson continues...

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous11/20/2010

    Jessica, how beautifully you put your story. I will keep your friend in my prayers. I think you are very blessed to know her and share her ups and downs, smiles and pain. She is teaching you much of what you want to learn you know, and you will come away from this experience that much stronger and that much closer to the answers you ask. I believe we learn what we can learn, and while I know many people will disagree with me, I also believe that if you don't learn all the lessons God has for you, you will just return again at a higher level and keep on learning. At some point you will have learned it all and that is what makes you an angel. I know there are also angels on earth, but I believe they are ones that God sent back to earth for a special reason. My beloved auntie (95) is one of those. I also believe those we know on earth are all at different levels and we all learn from AND teach each other. Sending your fiend and YOU blessings. Carol