It is said that during great tragedies families come together and you learn who your true friends are. This is so very accurate.
I’ve shared my Mother’s diagnoses and knowing there is no cure for ALS most of us have already started the grieving process. Which I firmly believe doesn’t necessarily start when a person passes. I think it can, and at times, does start well before that. Especially when it comes to family, friends, caregivers of people with ALS. We know what’s going to happen, we just don’t know when it’s going to happen. Our minds however tend to think too much and see, or at least try to see, a life without that person in it. Which can result in a lot of heartache, crying, anxiety, and the list goes on. I’m not saying it ONLY pertains to those that are losing someone to ALS. It can be cancer too, or any disease really. Especially if a cure is too late and they are in late stages.
Unfortunately not everyone understands this concept. For whatever reason, some think you only grieve after a person is gone. So to tell a person “I’m there for you” comes easy enough. Where are you though when that time comes and they need you? Not there. I remember when I had such a huge support base and people where always there when I just need to talk, vent, yell, or cry. They were there to help with things I may have needed at the time. Some of those people are thankfully STILL there. I don’t know how many times I was told they were going to be there for me. I should call if I need anything. They will help as much as possible. I’m not alone. Well, again I ask, where are you? Right, not there.
I feel I am truly blessed. I do have some amazing people in my life. I’ve made some new friends that are pretty darn fantastic. I’m thankful for each and every one of them. May they be here in town, or out of town. Heck, there are some I haven’t even met in person and they have shown more love to me in the last year than some of my local friends have. That might be hard for some to read, but it is the truth and it is how I feel. I will not apologize for my feelings.
This brings me to the next “old saying”, Blood isn’t always thicker than water.
Over the years I have been lucky enough to have met some people that I felt an instant connection to and we have formed such a bond that I have considered them family. I’ve made many “brothers”, “sisters”, and even a “Mum and Dad”! Since we found out about the ALS, some of those extended family members have been right there with me. In one way or another. Some are still there, but others not so much. I’ve been told by various professionals that it is important to have a stable support base. Someone to talk to or depend on when you feel at your lowest. Sometimes, that is all I need. Is just someone to hang out with and either talk to, or for someone to just take my mind off of things. My mind is always on my mom and what she is going through. It’s not easy to sit back and feel helpless. I do what I can for her and with her, but sometimes I feel it isn’t enough. In all honesty, I wish I could take this all away and make her feel better, but I know there is nothing other than being there for her that I can do. That takes a huge emotional toll on me. I try to be strong, but sometimes I just can’t. Those few people that were the first to say they’ll be there for me, aren’t there anymore. I understand life gets busy but does that mean that you forget the other people in your life? It’s not very often I hear from them, they don’t ask how I am. I’ve gotten to the point that I just say “I’m fine” when in fact, I am not. I’m hurting. I’m grieving. I’m in constant emotional turmoil. My life is busy too, but I don’t forget my friends. I don’t understand how hard it is to keep to your word. If you’re going to tell someone you’re going to be there for them, then damnit, be there! Be present and show your love and support. There is no restrictions to friendship. At least, there shouldn’t be. You don’t do a few things or be there a few times and consider your duty as a friend done. That’s not how friendship works and if that is how you think it does, then you need to re-evaluate your definition of friendship and do a drastic overhaul on how you think.
Blood may not always be thicker than water, but water can let you down in more ways than one. I’m starting to see this. I’m also starting to see who my true friends are and who’s just there for the sake of saying they’re there. Those so called family members are about to lose me as a “sister”. I can’t have this in my life. It’s obvious enough to me that I really don’t matter all that much in your life. Even though I was always there for you. I was the one that sat up listening to you when you needed that friend to just be present. I’ve helped as much as I could and I’ve done all that I can. I can’t put my feelings on a back burner anymore and wait till you feel I’m worthy of your time. I love you, but it’s to let you go. For the sake of my sanity and my family, I need to be healthy so I can be there for my children, my husband, and for my Mother. You’ve made it clear that I don’t matter and that you have no time for me. You will always matter to me, but I can’t hurt myself with these thoughts and feelings anymore. I deserve better. I have better.
Friendship is like an ever flowing river. At times calm and gentle, other times raging and unpredictable. Eventually that river will hit a fork and the water will separate.
We’ve hit that fork.