“A complete stranger has the capacity to alter the life of another irrevocably. This domino effect has the capacity to change the course of an entire world. That is what life is; a chain reaction of individuals colliding with others and influencing their lives without realizing it. A decision that seems miniscule to you, may be monumental to the fate of the world.”
― J.D. Stroube, Caged by Damnation
I have no friends.
That’s a lie, I have friends but as time goes by and life takes over, friendships change. It’s normal and a part of life yet as I sit here now it occurs to me that for all intents and purposes, I have no friends. There’s no ‘girls night out’ or ‘girls weekend getaway’ or any of those normal things that most normal people do.
I’m not normal.
Not that there’s anything wrong with that.
Somehow I lost myself somewhere in all those years I spent taking care of others and life moved ahead without me.
I’m the one who never had children so I’m the one who got to nurse my Father through his broken hip, followed by my Mother’s fight against breast cancer, with a few years of taking care of my Mother-In-Law 24/7 as she went through the stages of Alzheimer’s.
Being a caretaker for so many years did two things: firstly, I realized how lucky I was to have 2 living Parents so I began to spend as much time as possible with my Mom. The fallout from that leads me to secondly, I neglected to take time to nurture friendships with my friends and now that my Mom’s gone, I find myself standing alone.
And now is not a good time to be standing alone because now, more than ever, I need the support of good friends.
Oh I understand that we all have our own lives and families and all that comes along with it, but I also understand that I can’t, for example, call someone up and say “Hey, that new Joss Whedon movie Much Ado About Nothing is coming out, wanna go to the movies with me?”.
And finally, I also understand that it’s my own fault.
I didn’t nurture when I should have, instead I put all my energy into squeezing as much time as I could with my Mom because I knew nobody lives forever and I didn’t want to have any regrets when she was gone.
And I don’t, as far as my Mom’s concerned. But I painted myself into a corner and now my back’s against the wall of a huge empty room.
It’s ok, I tell myself, and in a way it is ok, because as you know, if your eyes are reading this, chances are you’re a writer too and we all know that writing can be a lonely business.
We need the quiet and the alone time to be creative or, at least I do.
But I’ve realized something very important.
You are my friends.
You are my support.
You and your words, your writing, your sharing of yourself has been a comfort to me at a time I need it most.
You have opened your hearts and your virtual arms and taken me in, as I am, plain old not-normal me.
You have accepted me into your lives, word by word, and you have helped to put me on the road to healing.
And that, my friends, means more to me than any one of you can possibly imagine.
All I can say is Thank You, there’s no place like home.
There are no strangers here; Only friends you haven’t yet met.
William Butler Yeats