How do we tell the difference?
I am about to get in my car and drive for a couple of hours to check on a friend.
I know, if there’s real trouble, that I can’t do much to help. But. After talking to myself for 3+ days about this decision, I can’t make another choice. I’m getting depressed wondering about all the “what if” scenarios.
Her phone rings endlessly, indicating that she’s probably not been able to pay her bill. Again. Or, that mental health issues have gotten worse, and she’s been hospitalized. Again.
Whether I can see her or not, she is always in my heart and I can’t help but notice she’s fallen off the radar. Again.
So, as either a good friend or a big old busybody, I’m going to get into my car and drive for a few hours in the hope there will be answers at the other end of this drive.
This kind of crap – falling off the radar – occurs so easily when someone on disability, and with low income, retires far away from friends and family. Moving far away, not because they want to, but because they think where they are going is the only place they can afford to live. Far from family, friends and support structures.
What everyone seems to forget, though, is that it takes a village. It takes a village to care for our young and vulnerable as well as our old and tired and also vulnerable.
While I get that everyone has to find a way to care for themselves once push comes to shove, I just can’t follow through on that hard line when someone is my friend. I miss you when you’re gone, and I notice when you don’t show up on the radar from time to time.
Maybe it’s my own ego hoping that my own absence will be noticed by friends and or family if I dropped off the radar. Maybe this trip is about my ego and needing to find relevance doing something in an otherwise untenable situation.
Whatever it is, I’m going.
Whatever it is, I’ll deal with the consequences of arriving uninvited and interfering.
Friends show up, even if they can’t make one bit of difference. They miss you, and they show up if they can, when they can.