You all have heard me talk about my friend Susie here on the blog quite a bit. She even goes crazy and comments every now and again, and she posed a great question when I had given you all free reign to ask me any question you could think of. This was hers:
OK...so I can, and have, pretty much asked you anything I'm wondering about, but there's always something that I wonder (worry) about when we get off the phone. When we talk and I complain about the 'little' things in my life OR, in contrast, when I talk about the wonderful day I may have had, do you get at all irritated? - be honest! Because I get off the phone or the computer and think - Oh my goodness, Sara would probably love to have MY problems. OR I think - I just rambled on about all the fun things I did today - why didn't I just keep my mouth shut. I know you 'say' that you want to hear all about my life and my boys and you always say that you live vicariously through me, but I'm always afraid that when I tell you these things I hurt you a little... it's so hard because I want to share EVERYTHING with you - but the last thing I want to do is hurt you. Remember - be honest - I won't be offended.
Love ya lots. Suz
Yep, that’s my Suzaluza… just one more example of why I am constantly telling you all that I have such amazing friendships. It’s truly a gift because we are all so much more concerned about each other than we are ourselves… and I’ve come to realize that it’s the key to a good relationship. If both parties always care more about the other person than themselves, everyone will always be taken care of with love and compassion.
It’s why I fight so darn hard to stay independent… I could never imagine leaving here and being without this family that I chose to create in my friends.
Regarding her question: I can only answer it for myself. I would imagine people with illness and restrictions all react differently when other people’s lives can remind them of their own loss. But for me, #4 on my list of life goals says: To love what I have and not yearn for what I lack. That goal, that decision I came to, is one of the reasons why I am never hurt by hearing about Susie’s day, or anyone else’s. They don’t make me yearn for what I don’t have, but instead I love what I do have through them.
The other reason is because, while I may be physically different, I am emotionally the same person. And nothing in life makes me happier than when other people are happy. And nothing will stop me in my tracks faster than someone who needs my ear to listen. If everyone stopped telling me their happy moments… I wouldn’t have that joy in my life. I truly and sincerely live vicariously through each and every success, joy, piece of gossip, and video of their kid’s concert that they bring into my world. Just ask my parents… when I talk to them on the phone and they ask how things are going, I regale them with stories of my friends and their kids and their lives. Because sharing in what is happening with them is what is going on with me.
Megan, my friend Kelly’s daughter, used to call me and play her piano recital pieces over the phone. I would answer, the piano would start and I’d sit and listen for as long as she played, and then tell her how amazing she was. When she did that, I got to be a part of something outside of my life. When Suz tells me about the hectic morning they had [they always have hectic mornings :)] or tells me funny stories about her day with the kids… she makes me a part of her life.
|I can be changed by what happens to me. I refuse to be reduced by it. ~Maya Angelou|
And my friends, by complaining when they stub their toe, or telling me about the fun night they had going out to dinner together… they let me know they wish I was there. They make me feel like me. The same person I was to them before I was sick. The one who listened and gave them advice and laughed with them and cried with them. If anything was held back, they would be holding me back… and then I would be reduced by what has happened to me. Of course I long to be with them in all of those moments, but feeling like I was with them is the next best thing.
I’m not bothered when someone gets a paper cut and complains about the pain. Paper cuts hurt. Friendships are not competition, and the levels of pain don’t matter. Pain is pain. Struggle is struggle. Joy is joy. And getting to participate in lives that can be lived in ways mine never will … that fills me up, gives me purpose, gives me reasons to celebrate and reasons to console. By letting me fully be a part of all of their life, they help keep mine from being reduced.
[Suz, your life is important and precious. And I wouldn’t want to miss a moment of it.]
To win this canvas, you’ll need to leave a comment before midnight CST today. And since it worked so well to have a question to answer for today’s post, your comment has to contain a question for me… silly, serious, random, personal, ridiculous… it doesn’t matter.
Only one comment per person, please… and I’ll let you know the winner tomorrow! :)