|+ an Uber gift card!|
It's taken me a little while to process and articulate this level of kindness. I'm trying to avoid the superlatives I always jump to (amazing! awesome! fantastic! super!) so here's the best way I can describe it: I feel like how I think mothers feel sometimes when looking at their kids -- like my heart is bursting with joy, gratitude, and love.
I feel like I am re-learning the value of friendship. When I was in preschool, I used to play by myself a lot, which made sense because I was an only child. Since my parents were older and I didn't have any siblings, they wanted to stress the importance of friendship. So they changed the question they asked me when they picked me up at the end of the day. Instead of "what did you learn today?" they asked "who did you play with today?" Apparently I got the message, considering I still have several good friends from preschool (like Julie!).
But in my late 20s/early 30s, I felt like my friendships were slipping a bit. It seemed natural -- busy careers, spouses, kids, distance. I admit I wasn't as good about picking up the phone or scheduling a meetup as I had been when DP and were dating long distance and I had more time.
But when ALS came along, my friends rallied, big time. I've heard from people I haven't talked to in 15 years. Reestablished regular phone call regimens. Had long, thoughtful talks with old friends and grew strong bonds with new ones.
[I will pause here and say that it hasn't been that way for all DP's and my friendships. A few "close" friends never reached out at all or scarcely acknowledged my diagnosis. Which stung and still hurts. Because if you can't show up when you learn that a friend or his chosen life partner is dying, well... But we're trying to let the overflowing good from everywhere else cauterize those wounds and let go.]
Keep in mind that I know most everyone in the Challenge, but most of them don't know each other. Ah, the wonders of Facebook :)
So I think I'll call this "guerrilla friendship." When you reach out to a friend or acquaintance and do something for them just to show you care about them and care about your shared friendship.
Is there some act of guerrilla friendship you can do for someone today? Maybe someone haven't been in contact with for awhile? You just never know when it could be too late.