Sunday, 25 October 2009

Being there

I've just got back from NY and I haven't had much sleep for the last day or so, so please forgive me for not replying to your thoughtful comments on my previous post(s) yet.

I was musing on the way back (and there's little you can do but muse when you're sat on a plane that's stuck on the tarmac at JFK for 80 minutes) about the nature of friendship. A very good friend of mine once explained to me - whilst very drunk, obviously - that he saw friendships existing at three levels, and being a mathematician he was forced to use an example; that of phoning a friend at 3am during a personal emergency.

An acquaintance, he postulated, wouldn't answer the phone.

A friend would answer the phone but probably only to commiserate/offer platitudes. Help would be offered but not right then.

A true friend would, no questions asked, offer to do whatever was required to help immediately.

For most people, the number of people you'd be a true friend to would be roughly the same as those you thought would be a true friend in return. For those of us with low self-esteem, the number you'd help outweighs the number you think would help you in such a situation.

So when something truly appalling happens, when something almost too ghastly to contemplate happens to someone you love, something so terrible occurs that you jump on the next available flight and go halfway round the world - and work be damned - when that happens and you need help feeding the cat for a week, watering plants, looking after the flat, giving you lifts, putting you in contact with people that can help you (or just giving you emotional support) and you need all that help right now late on a Friday night before you fly on Saturday morning. When that happens, you find out who your true friends are.

And I feel humbled.

Because something terrible did happen, and they were there. All of them. They know who they are, and all I can say is thank you.

From the bottom of my heart.


Jack said...

A true friend would train the cat to feed itself.

In all seriousness, I can empathise with the real friend situation. I only have one of those, but that one is more than enough.

Welcome back.

Kevin Musgrove said...

It's good you got the support you needed.

Hope things got resolved positively.

Gorilla Bananas said...

Bloody hell. Hope you have the strength to get through this.

Red Squirrel said...

Jack - it's surprising just who your true friends are. Some I thought would be weren't, and some I would never have believed it of were there for me. You probably have more than one :)

Kevin - thanks. They're better but it will take some time before they're resolved.

gb - me too mate, me too :)

Anonymous said...

I was thinking about you yesterday and wondering how everything was going. I mean despite the circumstances, I was hoping you were coping as well as can be expected. This comment is coming out all wrong.

Anonymous said...

Hey Little Squirrel~

If any of us make it through life with a mear handful of real friends...we've done well.

All my love to you and yell if I can help.

Sweet Cheeks~

P said...

Whatever has happened, it's definitely a good thing you have people around you that you can count on.

I hope you're okay. :)

Charby said...

Dunno what's up but I hope you and mrs squirrel are ok

Mrs Red Squirrel said...

I said to myself that I wouldn't post this publicly, but I couldn't help myself, because what happened was awful and you didn't blink... At least not where I could see you... No one in my whole life has loved me the way you do. A pure love. A clean love. A love that has no boundaries. Your friends are amazing... many of which I've met, and I thank them all publicly, as well, because I really want them to know that I love them dearly for sincerely loving you as much as I do. I love you, Bebe.

Red Squirrel said...

Veggie - I appreciate your thoughts my dear, and it came out okay :)

Sweet Cheeks - thanks. I'll explain more later...

P - I'm getting there, slowly, but getting there...

Charby - thanks! :)

Mrs RS - awww, sappiest thing ever :-P