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Saturday, July 09, 2011

The Week That Was... Goodbyes.

These last two weeks have been filled with goodbyes. 

I didn't do a wrap up last week due to my horrible head cold. Although I'm not 100% yet, I'm pretty close, and over the last few days I've felt so much better. I think I'm finally saying goodbye to the head cold.

Being sick, especially when you have kids, isn't easy. But knowing there's light at the end of the tunnel makes it bearable. Not everyone has that. Whenever I'm sick myself, I'm reminded of those who are suffering a far more serious illness, and who may not necessarily hold out hope for a full recovery. A head cold in comparison? Meh.

That's called perspective, people. I am grateful for my health and wish anyone else unwell a speedy recovery.

*   *   *   *   *

A couple of weekends ago, I was walking through my local shopping centre when I suddenly felt someone was looking at me. You know that feeling? Anyway, I looked up and saw an old friend walking towards me. She was looking straight at me. Just as I realised it was was her, she turned away, lifting her phone out of her handbag and busying herself with making a call. However, my brain at that stage had already sent an automatic message to say hello, and I did - just as she passed, head down. I knew, as the words came out, that she didn't want to stop and chat - quite obvious from her actions - but it was too late by then. I didn't look back to check if she had heard my greeting. Instead, I just walked on. 

The last time I ran in to her (last December) she was quite stand-offish. I pushed on though with a conversation, and by the end of it, I felt she had relaxed and we were back to our normal rapport. I didn't know why she was that way at the time, but I put it down to a bad day for her or something. We talked about catching up in the new year (which we hadn't done yet), and the chance passing in the shopping centre the week before last was the first time I'd seen her since.

I have no idea why she would choose to purposely ignore me. Really, I don't. But you know what? I decided there's nothing I can do about it. I half thought of emailing her to ask why, but decided against it. Why bother? The message was clear, and I can't force someone to be my friend. Nothing could compare to losing another close friend which left me very confused and concerned for a long time before I finally accepted it (and in that case, I could at least speculate as to why the friendship ceased to be). Besides...I have too many good friends that I don't get to spend enough time with as it is. I've always said it's about the quality of the friendship that matters, not about any sense of loyalty you may feel toward a friendship due to the length of time you've known that person. Perhaps she thinks the same way.

Live and learn, hey?

*   *   *   *   *

Of course, you realise how much all this stuff really doesn't matter when you hear about a terrible, very real loss.

Last Sunday, as I was picking up a copy of Kylie Ladd's new book, Last Summer - about an Aussie bloke who dies suddenly, leaving behind a wife, children and friends to mourn his loss - a mother from my sons' school was actually living the reality of that story line.

Her husband (in his late 30s) went out for a walk that morning, collapsed on a pathway and died (the cause of death is yet to be determined). He leaves his wife and four young sons behind - the eldest of which is in my 7yr old's same year at school (the youngest is just 1).

Her name is Claire. If you feel inclined to do so, a prayer or two for her and her sons would be much appreciated, I'm sure. I don't know Claire well - just to say hi to when walking to and from school - but I imagine if I could help her in any way right now, this is probably the best I can do. I know, from what my mother has taught me about loss from her own experience, that knowing people are thinking of you - whether you know them personally or not - helps, even if just a little bit.

On that note, I don't feel much like listing my posts this week. There were only a few, which you can check out on my sidebar if you like.

Now go give your loved ones a big cuddle, tell them you love them and enjoy your time with them. We never really now just how long we have with them, do we?



Penny said...

Thinking of Claire and her family. Great post about not forcing someone to be your friend. My husband's long lost biological sister (he's adopted) popped out of nowhere last year and we all started building relationships until she deleted me off Facebook - I don't know why. I don't really care. If she doesn't like me, I have other sisters in law that I can focus on. People are asking me why I'm not bothered...I tell them it's her issue, not mine. I have never been anything but honest with her. Sometimes that's all it takes.

E. said...

Thinking of Claire and her family.

I'm sorry for the loss of her husband and children's father and for you and the loss of a friendship.

My Mummy Daze said...

Hi Jodie,

Glad to hear you're almost back to your normal self.

Your story about losing a friend resonates with me. Although I'm at the 'why bother' stage in terms of pursuing it, it's still hard to not wonder what happened, and how such a good friend could drop you.

It's definitely easier breaking up with a boyfriend! At least you can demand an explanation that way.

My heart goes out to your friend, Claire. A reminder that I really need to finalise our Wills and organise Life Insurance...

Michelle said...

Life seems to be filled with many different friendship losses for many of us.
will pray for Claire and her kids. xx

Moodi Mumma said...

Sending love to Claire, she will be in my thoughts x

Maxabella said...

Oh gosh, that's just so dreadful. My heart feels very heavy for her. You hear about these tragedies and all I can think is 'there but for the grace...'

For the friend... I always find that it is something they are going through, rather than you in particular. You know? x

Mum on the Run said...

It's been a heavy week really.
I hope next week holds more sunshine than rain.
Claire will be in my thoughts and prayers. Life is just so incomprehensible at times.

Kymmie said...

Hey Jodie, so glad you said goodbye to your cold, but your friend. Oh, sooo sad. Prayers going upward for her.

And your 'friend' who ignored you. It's not you, it's her. Have a great weekend Jodie. xx

Jane said...

I'll be thinking of Claire and her boys. What a horrible thing to happen! Especially when there are young kids involved. Tragic. It's so scary how people can literally just drop dead. I had a horrible experience earlier this week where a man at my gym collapsed. I had to call the ambulance and watch people give him CPR. Thank god he is now fine, but it was pure luck that people were around to revive him.

As for your friend, it sounds like it was a case of the old "Awkward Fake Phone Call To Avoid a Conversation". As Kymmie said, it's her, not you. It could've happened for any reason - she might've been in a rush, or having a bad day, or just not in the mood to chat to anyone.

Hope you're having a lovely weekend, Jodie xxx

Jean said...

Gosh, yes. We all need to love and cherish the people who matter, and feck the ones who blank us (happened to me a few years ago too...couldn't believe it). My thoughts are with your friend and her family XXX

Gemma @ My Big Nutshell said...

Poor Claire! That is beyond comprehension for me. So incredibly unfair.

Maybe you did your 'friend' a favour by not going back after she continued walking? Maybe one day she might explain what is going on.

Megan Blandford said...

I've lost some friends recently too, and it really does suck. In my case there was a big fallout and some horrible things said, and I've had to just let it go and remove myself from the situation because I was getting too caught up in it.

Like your other example shows, life's too short to be angry and bitter. Focus on the good things, and the wonderful people in your life, and everything else will fall into place.


Ms Styling You said...

Whatever that friend's issue it is hers. There are way more devastating things going on in this world xxx

Jodi @ The Scribble Den said...

Better to spend time thinking of those who need to be thought about, rather than those like your old friend.

So Now What? said...

Timely reminder. We are all going along so merrily and forget everything can change in an instant. I hope your friend Claire has all the support she wants and requires, but it sounds like she does xx Sorry Jode.

Miss Pink said...

Jodie your wisdom astounds me.
I don't think you have a clue as to how closely I follow your words. How deeply I process them. Just wanted to let you know, because I know we never feel wise in our own lives.

I am continuing to send thoughts to your friend. I just do not understand the thing about death. It scares me, so I mostly try to ignore it. Ignorance is bliss until you're smashed in the face and forced to deal with it huh?