Thursday, September 30, 2010

Friends, Family, and Hospitals...

I’m in Charlotte for work right now, in body but definitely not in spirit.

I drove up from Charleston yesterday, stopping in Columbia to visit a life-long friend whose mother suddenly fell ill.  The situation is pretty grim and my heart goes out to her.  We go back over 25 years.

I don’t want to toot my own horn, but I’m pretty smart.  I could probably tell you every member of the Capetian or Valois French dynasties.  But when it comes to a crisis or anything requiring emotional strength, I’ll be the first to admit I’m the biggest dumb-ass in the world.  I felt, and still feel, hopeless.  What can I do to help?  Anything? Nothing?  Should I come?  Would I be in the way?  What do YOU need, if anything?  It’s not at all about me or my feelings really, but how I feel for my dear friend.  It sucks.

I was telling another friend that during situations like this, I’m always reminded of the movie “Steel Magnolias”.  Right after Julia Roberts dies, Sally Field wants to go get little Jack from Aunt Fern’s.  So she drives through the bayou all night, and arrives just after dawn.  Aunt Fern comes out in her bathrobe and throws little Jack into Sally Field’s open arms.  Tears and violins.

So life is not a movie, but I’d just like to tell all of my friends out there, if you need me, I will definitely drive through a bayou all night for you.  No question.  But please be explicit and tell me what you need and when you need it.  Because, despite all the fancy trimmings, at the end of the day, I’m just a dumb guy who does not know what to do.

Completing this circle of life saga, in another hospital 5 minutes away, my little sister was admitted last night and will be having her first baby at some point today.  I sat with her for a few hours last night before driving up here.  To be honest, that kind of freaked me out a little bit too.  But only because she’s my baby sister and I still honestly think of her as a 5 year old.  But she’s all grown up, 25 and married.  So my denial will have to shift elsewhere.

Good luck Ashley and Jay!  I cannot wait to see you and my little niece tomorrow.  I will definitely bring you a Chick-fil-a sandwich if you want!

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