Saturday, June 20, 2009

You've Got a Friend.....

.....Ain't it good to know that you've got a friend......

It's amazing to me how a smell, a sound, a lyric, can transport someone back to a completely diffferent time in their lives. Oh, the innocence of youth.
In the 8th grade I made a friend that I thought I would have for life. My parents divorced when I was in 12th grade and she was there to see me through. As most high school teenagers do (mostly girls) we would write each other notes back and forth, even after we saw each other all day and talked to each other on the phone. The song, "You've Got a Friend" was "our song" and we included the lyrics frequently on the notes that we would write back and forth dealing with our teenage angst. We were there for each other through some painful break-ups and eventually stood up for each other at our weddings. We had children close in age and we were often guests at her house for BBQ's and swimming in her pool.
..."People can be so cold, they'll hurt you, and desert you, they'll take your soul if you let them, don't you let them, You just call out my name, and you know wherever I am, I'll come running to see you again....
These days, girls use the term BFF. That's what we weer I guess, then Alzheimer's Disease stepped into the picture. My friend who would be there for me "no matter what" just couldn't handle AD. I was, and still am, terribly hurt by this.
I think of my friend often, as I did again this morning when I heard this song playing on my car radio. My carefree High School days all came flooding back to me, along with thoughts of my friend that I thought I would never lose.
My dad passed away in July, 2004. He was my hero, my strength and my rock and it was a DEVASTATING loss to me. That winter, I got a call from my friend's husband to tell me that her dad had just passed away. Strange how her husband called me with the news, I guess she felt somewhat guilty that she hadn't spoken to me in 3 years. I explained to him that I could understand fully since I had just gone through the same thing myself. At that point my friend got on the phone. We talked for a while and I decided, out of respect for our past relationship, that I would pay her and her family a shiva call. When I stepped into her mom's home that night, I felt as though I was in a time warp. My friend seemed genuinely pleased that I had come, and we made some small talk for a while. Keep in mind it had been approximately 3 years since I had seen her. She told me how bad that she felt that she hadn't kept in touch. Another friend of hers even told me that my friend walked around with the Newsday article that was written about us, but she didn't have the "strength" to read it. When I left that night, she PROMISED that she would call, for sure, and we would go out and "catch up". That was 5 years ago and I'm still waiting for her phone call.
Sadly, I believe Alzheimer's Disease alienates alot of people, and I am not alone in my loneliness.

You've Got a one time, yes I did.


Carl in NC said...

I know what you meant about the isolation and such. It sure is difficult to find the time to spend with others like we both used to do when our spouses were able. It is difficult being at home and not being able to participate fully in the world around us. Sorry you and your friend have grown apart so much. I pray that God can provide you some encouragement this week.

Take care and God bless,


L.S.Fisher said...

Karen, I just had my 40th class reunion and realized how easy it is to lose touch with old friends. I saw people I hadn't seen in years. We hope to get together for a "girls'" weekend sometime.

All I can do is encourage you to be understanding about the friends who don't know how to cope with Alzheimer's. It takes a strong person to tackle maintaining a friendship when they don't know what to do or say.

Alzheimer's caregiving isn't for sissies!

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