You Were There When No One Else Was
By Karen Noble
This is a “thank you” from me to you. It’s the best I can do so I’m going to try to express it.
Everyone else bailed. I expected them to, if I’m being honest. Times were getting tough. I wasn’t going to be fun to be around for a while. People don’t want to be around you when you’re like this. It’s a burden. And soon enough, the fair-weathered friends take their leave, as I knew they would. It’s hard to stay when things look so bleak.
But you stayed. You were the only one who did. You held my hand and said you weren’t going anywhere and you asked me how “we” could confront this. We! You were part of my life in the good times and you felt we were a unit in the bad. I couldn’t believe it. No one had ever seen the darkness approaching and instead of leaving, just opened an umbrella and got ready for the downpour.
You stayed. You stayed and you helped me. You were selfless and accommodating. You let me talk if I wanted to talk or not if I didn’t. You let me cry. You made sure I ate. You let me call you at all hours and you always answered. You went above and beyond, or perhaps I only think it’s above and beyond because I’ve never known caring like this.
I’ve always expected people to bail. They’re busy. They have their own lives. They like being your friend when you’re flush but as the song goes, “Nobody knows you when you’re down and out.” Once the fog clears and you need to be serious for a second, they jet. They don’t want the realness, the dirt or the grime. They don’t want to see you hurt or upset but not in a loving way, in a sort of ew-don’t-look-at-that-person way. Maybe it makes them uncomfortable with themselves. Maybe they just don’t do emotions. Either way, that doesn’t serve the person who needs them. When you sign up to be a good friend, you sign up for everything.
And you did. You were there when no one else was. You were a light and a champion. You took the time to make sure I was okay. You took me out to dinner and drinks and you worked really hard to cheer me up. You were a friend, through thick and thin. Through ugly periods and times I thought it would never get better.
You shouldn’t be the exception to the rule but frankly, you are. You’re a true friend among a bunch of people who were no where to be found during all this. You deserve way more than this little blog post, but I don’t know that I’ll ever be able to repay you except by returning the favor and I hope that you never suffer. So for now, this will have to do:
You were there when no one else was. No one else would have been. You stepped up and you surprised me, someone who thought they knew what people were like. Someone who was cynical about friendship. You proved me wrong. You showed me that someone will stay and that someone will care. There will never be a big enough “thank you” for that.
A friend of mine, an artist, recently had a picture from her Facebook profile end up on a stranger’s wall. She was not just outraged; she felt violated.
You’ve established a concrete circle of friends who will most likely remain there until death.
This glowing rectangle is there when you go to sleep, there when you wake up. It’s like a life partner minus the spooning, head scratches and everything else human and lovely.
I bought like 3 BILLY bookshelves this past weekend.
By Michael Koh