Circle of Friends

Back in February, I met a lady in the hospital. She and I shared a common fear – our husbands were in ICU not knowing what the next hour would bring let alone the next day. We were the only two who spent uncountable hours in the ICU waiting room. We were both afraid to leave but too tired to stay.

One day we spoke to each other. We shared our situations. We shared tears, and we shared prayer. We shared our greatest fears with each other – life without our husbands. We prayed fervent prayers to God for divine healing.

Fast forward six months . . . something told me to reach out to Lourdes three weeks ago. It was a strong feeling in my spirit. Lourdes lost Roger in February; he never left ICU. I was devastated for her, and I cried for her. I prayed for her not really knowing what she needed, not really knowing what she was feeling, not really knowing her loneliness.

Until now . . . now I know how she feels. Now I understand the depths of her pain, hurt, loneliness, heartbreak, gut-wrenching sick-to-your-stomach feeling . . . the indescribable hole you feel in your heart. Lourdes was the first person to reach out and ask to sit with me, cry with me, pray with me, experience the same pain with me, asking for nothing in return.

With experiences such as this, you find out who genuinely cares and doesn’t just say the words and phrases that are “a propos”. You find out who stands with you when you can’t find the words to describe how you feel, you can’t itemize what you need, you can’t stop the tears long enough to say hello, you can’t remember who is in the same room with you, you can’t remember if you’ve eaten today.

You find out who is willing to just sit with you while you cry, while you grieve.

You find out who will text you just to let you know they are thinking about you.

You find out who is willing to hold your hand, put an arm around your shoulder and sit in the same room and say nothing.

You find out who is willing to hear what they don’t want to hear.

You find out who is willing to understand that you can’t flip a switch and feel better.

You find out who is willing to provide their company and time vs. suggesting you need professional help.

You find out who is willing to be uncomfortable to provide just a little bit of comfort.

You find out who is willing to be there for the long haul, because it’s a long journey.

You find out that your circle of friends becomes very, very small.

I’m thankful for my very small circle of friends.

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