I am an old woman who forgets. They call it “dementia.” My sister and brothers refer to me as, “The crazy sister” (personally, I think my sister qualifies, too.)
What I have learned since being diagnosed is that this is difficult for my friends, also. I often write about how it affects my family, but I never address the friend issue.
There are a few friends who tired to weather the storm, but the newfound problems we were facing were just too much for some.
I had one friend I was very close to. We were a pair! We would finish each other’s sentences and call each other when we knew a favorite movie was on TV. We spent a lot of time chatting on the phone after it became difficult for me to go places. Our friendship was going along smoothly, or so this feeble mind thought, and then I found out that my family’s challenges were just too overwhelming. Please do not fault the person who did this. I am guilty, too. I talked when I should have listened. I was trying to deal with my daughter’s illness and trying to figure out what my options were going to be. I was not the friend I was still able to be.
Occasionally, I would call her number and try and make amends, but too many years have gone by. I miss my friend.
The positive side to all of this is that I have been able to focus on a core group of people who care about me wandering away, getting lost at Scott’s or where I left my glasses.
I have a friend at St. Therese who lost her very best friend of many years. I read the beautiful tribute Pam did for Jan and wondered, if I had been able to maintain my friendship, if my friend would be writing a tribute when I die. Then I thought some more, which at this point in time is no easy feat, (trust me)! If someone feels moved to do that for me, then that person will have stayed by my side when I no longer know their name and, most important, stayed by Jim, Amy and Jamie when they so desperately needed the support.
When you think about it, what more of a blessing do we need?