When you find out who cares . . .
The last 6-8 weeks have probably been some of the hardest that we, as a family, have had to work through thanks to our respective illnesses and issues. On the whole we’re normally a pretty healthy little bundle really, we get the odd colds but nothing to worry too much about.
This has been a hard year for Hubby, he’s a hard worker at the best of times (I know because I worked with him for long enough) and yes he walks about with a piece of paper in his hand (I always wound him up about that one) and stops to chat with his colleagues (like most do!!) but he’s usually a man on a mission and he rarely takes a lunch hour or leaves work when he should. As I have said previously he has to date this year only taken 7 days holiday from work. So far we have had to cancel 2 family holidays this year because of work commitments (and that didn’t settle well with me!). His phone is never switched off and even on the 7 days holiday we have taken, our days have still been marred by calls from work.
Against my better judgement he never takes time off work when he is sick and boy has he paid for it with his health in recent weeks. I have no doubt that there have been the usual jibes and criticisms about ‘how ill’ he really was because people just can’t help themselves can they but take it from me (and Hubby will testify to this) I don’t do home nursing very well. Hubby and I love each other very much but when either of us are ill we just let each other get on with it, we don’t really ‘care’ for each other. I had known for weeks that Hubby wasn’t in great shape, I knew because I was the one who caught the whooping cough in the first place and passed it to him. I know how rough I felt and I could see that he was worse than me, the only difference I felt was that he could take medication whereas I couldn’t. I would tell him most mornings “you should be staying at home today” but he wouldn’t listen, he would just tell me “it’s ok I’ll stick the air con full blast so that no-one else catches my bug” but in the process he managed to make himself worse by getting severe community acquired pneumonia. Not a cold, not ‘man-flu’ but full blown pneumonia with a full right lung AND whooping cough to boot! Nobody could have been more shocked than I was when he called from the hospital to say that we needed to pack him an overnight bag, the hospital wanted to admit him and you could have picked me up off the floor with a spatula when the Consultant at the hospital told me they would need to keep him in for 3-4 days minimum. The most frightening time for me was when he had his allergic reaction to the drip they had him on, I have never seen anyone react like that and I never want to again.
But that’s not what this post is about, that’s just the background to it really. In recent weeks/months I have spent a lot of time analysing relationships and friendships, I have looked at who really matters and although I had my suspicions before our most recent health issues, that time when Hubby was in hospital really showed me who really cares and who really matters. They always say that it’s in times of need you know who your friends are and it’s true. When Hubby was admitted to hospital I found myself feeling really low, naturally I was worried about Hubby, I had seen the man I love deteriorate from a very strong and able-bodied man to someone I didn’t recognise in hospital, someone who could barely keep their eyes open and showed very little interest in anything. I was still feeling very poorly myself with whooping cough, my thyroid levels had dropped meaning that I was even more tired than usual at 6 months pregnant and I had two little tiddlers to look after. My Mum stepped in as I knew she would and helped me out no end with the tiddlers and my in-laws were a great support too with offers of help with the tiddlers and visits to Hubby but I received countless texts, messages and calls from friends all around offering words of comfort and support, offers of help. My neighbours stepped in to help with the school run, I received flowers and hugs from all over. I received constant support from people whom I didn’t not expect at all and appreciated very much. BUT for all the messages and support that I DID receive, I also noticed a big gaping hole where I felt others should have been and those are the ‘friends’ which I felt showed their true colours. One friend in particular has (excuse the language) crapped on us from a great height this year and that can never be forgiven and I have ‘friends’ who have still not even congratulated me on our impending arrival in January. I have always done my utmost to be the best friend that I can be to those around me, I support wherever I can and am able. I will admit that I am not the best at communication, time just slips me by but I try my hardest.
In my first year as Mummy to Beanie Boy, I struggled. I found it hard work going from one to two and have no doubt that going forward I may struggle with Jelly Bean too. But during that first year I received criticism from ‘friends’ that I ‘hadn’t bothered with them’ yet on the times that I had seen them, they had talked only of themselves and not once asked “and how are you?” something I ALWAYS ask a new mother because I know that the mothers always get forgotten. Even when I told some of them how low I was feeling, they just shrugged and changed the subject.
I had one ‘friend’ defriend me on Facebook because I hadn’t bothered with them in that year and I have friends who have never even met my little Beanie Boy even though they live nearby. The thing is, I totally understand that people have their own lives to get on with and I know how quickly time can pass but I am also not stupid, I look on Facebook/Twitter etc I ‘see’ people out doing things and meeting other people when they say they are ‘too busy to go out’. I have tried to make arrangements to see people only to have them cancel at the last minute. So why not just say ‘I’m not interested in being your friend anymore?’ why lie about it? I used to let it bother me but in recent weeks I have decided to let it all go because I have seen that my life is so much richer than I thought it was because it has been proved to me by those that stood by me. The friends that I have are true friends and ones that I will cherish. To the rest of you, have a happy life!