What do you do when you need help and you have no family to turn to? Your friends.
Some people say that family should be more important than friends, and at different times in my life, perhaps yours as well, that may have been true. Certainly when I was young and growing up and when we saw our cousins and needed our parents, but as I grew older things changed.
As we mature, and become responsible and independent, we shouldn’t be knocking at our parent’s door to expecting them to continue to meet our needs, we should be standing strong. If perchance you are blessed with siblings, they may remain close but still, your friends a become more important factor.
In my case, my only sibling, my brother, married and moved to Oshawa, while I was in nurses training. My life was very full with training and theatre, and later working in a chronic care hospital and theatre. When my knees gave out I went back to school to become a travel agent and even though on the Dean’s List, I could not get a job in Windsor. So, I too left home and ended up here in Tillsonburg. The ties to Windsor and home were still strong and I would go back on weekends to do theatre with my old group on weekends. It was a good thing the Rotary Musicals started up and five years later we got Theatre Tillsonburg going.
My parents now came here to see our shows and visit a few times throughout the year. Friends here in Tillsonburg became more and more important. Phone calls kept me in touch with family, but it was the people here that helped me in my work and play and became my friends. Many of my longest friends in Tillsonburg eventually moved on, themselves moving closer to their children to help them with health and aging. They understood me best, because they knew me as an adult [I’d like to say more mature, but my husband would get cramps from laughing too much], but helping me in a more literal and physical sense than my family did. So we will always be close. But into their vacant space in my daily life came new and wonderful friends, for which I am truly thankful.
My parents moved to be close to me as they grew older and I was blessed that my father, who was never really well, lived for almost 10 years here in town. Mom made it to 17 years now and we are meeting her needs and helping her to live the best she can in her declining years.
Now that she is in a retirement home, we must clear out her house and get it sold. So I have spent the last month discovering, in all the nooks and crannies, things about my family I never knew. Many have been a joy; others a source of amazement, discovering the amount of things that can be ferreted away into all those nooks and crannies!
Friends have been wonderful, with their offers to assist, but that part of the job needed to be done by me. Deciding what to do with all the treasures and, dare I say, trash. Trust me, if your parents lived through the depression, they will save the strangest things.
Unfortunately my brother has already died, so he couldn’t help, and fortunately Mom did not want to. That would have been too emotional for both of us. That left me with a very overworked husband. After examining, sorting, purging and organizing, we were ready for pricing the mementos of my parent’s life. This was a monstrous job and too much for us. So I turned to my friends from long ago and new friends for their help, and they gave it generously and enthusiastically.
They whipped through the house like a whirlwind, arranging items as to catch the eye and pricing them to sell. Although they all didn’t know each other and some were younger than others, they all worked hard and well together.
You know you would do anything to help your friends if they needed it, but somehow, most of us have a little bit of insecurity that rises up when we are the ones who must ask for help, and we are overwhelmed when our friends care enough to step in and help. Sometimes you even discover a friend that steps up to the plate is not the one you expected to. They are a really treasure.
I was overwhelmed with their friendship, caring and love. Silly me, I shouldn’t have been because that is what friends do. I have not always been able to count on family because of their limited numbers, but I am so blessed to have been able to count on my friends. Bless you.
By the way, April 23rd you can come and check out all the work they have done! Watch for the Estate and Art Sale advert!