In this world, here is something that is a must: having somebody who knows you so well that if something bad happens, that person can sense you are in danger or need. Let me explain with this short story.
I have a friend I visit every week. I help her with lots of things, as she is disabled. I drive her to appointments, to buy groceries, to attend parties. I do her laundry, and clean her house, too. She is active, but has limited mobility. So, most of the time, she is at home, and usually I can be sure to find her there without calling to check in first. She loves people and she is always on her phone – chatting with family and friends, or on Zoom meetings. The people who know her, know she will answer her phone right away – if not, it’s because she is in a meeting, and will text back
Three weeks ago, my friend’s phone seemed to be working – but she did not reply when it rang. She also didn’t respond to text messages and WhatsApp messages. Silence. People started to worry, because she always replies quickly. Her mother reached out to me and said, “She is not answering any calls – that is not like her – what is going on?” Well, it turned out that from 4 a.m. to 7 p.m., she was in her apartment alone, fighting for her life.
I had spoken to her just the day before, and she had said she was not feeling very well. I had asked her to call me back if it got worse. But, unfortunately, she did not have time to do so. I drove straight to my friend’s house after her mother’s call. The light was off; there was no sign of activity. I broke part of the window so I could see inside, but I saw nothing. I went to different emergency rooms to look for her – still nothing. Because we knew her well, we were scared. Her mother insisted that I go back and check again. This time, I had a friend sneak in through a window. And there she was, on the floor. We called 911, and she was taken to the hospital. It turned out she had suffered a stroke. Thankfully, she is recovering well now, but the worst could easily have happened.
This country keeps us so busy that many people live practically alone, so they are lonely, focused only on their jobs. Find a way to stay connected to someone special.
So, I am here to remind you to please take time to connect with people, answer your phone calls or messages, and try hard to have somebody that you can trust with your life. This country keeps us so busy that many people live practically alone, so they are lonely, focused only on their jobs. Find a way to stay connected to someone special. Even if you have a different schedule from your friend, and live in a different town, keep in touch. If my friend had been a person who kept to herself a lot, we might have just assumed that she was OK, that nothing new was going on, that she never answers calls or messages quickly anyhow – so she must be fine. We might have said, we will wait, and try to connect again tomorrow – God forbid.
Especially at this time of year, with the snow, and the cold, there is so much anxiety and depression. Let’s reach out to each other. Just a short message could save someone’s day. Do not be that person about whom people will say, “Oh, she is just like that – so that’s not new.” People are very important. You are not required to make everybody your friend, but at least have somebody who can feel when you are weak, or lost. Let’s share love and attention. We do not know the time and the day when we will need help. God bless you, and have a happy and safe winter!