Mom and Dad are going to go meet some of Mom’s college friends at someone’s ranch this weekend. Since Mom is an only child her college best friends are like sisters to her and she really enjoys these get-togethers. They have all had kids together and now we have become friends as well since we are close in age. It’s friendship at its finest. Telling these women about Mom’s MS was probably the hardest of anyone else she had to tell. She actually had Sister K and I send them an email explaining it because she couldn’t do it herself. They had seen changes in her, they were worried and they had begun to ask questions. She was afraid of what would happen when they knew and how they would react. Instead they have rallied behind her. They call and email to see how she is. Whenever we are all around they always keep conversation normal and don’t treat Mom any differently. They offer to come to our house and help even though they live in different cities. They are a group of people who have not only said they care but they’ve showed it. An interesting concept- saying you care and showing it.
Personally I have had a lot of people tell me they care. Tell me to let them know if I need anything. But the problem is they don’t maintain a close enough relationship that makes me comfortable enough to call on them. Through Mom’s diagnosis I have learned as well who my real friends are and who really cares. It’s been a painful process, one that’s still not over.
I get asked by Husband, what would you like people to do? The answer, I don’t know. I don’t know, but I know when they aren’t doing what they should do if they really cared. I want people to really mean it when they say they care. I want people to make Mom comfortable when she is around them. I want people to actually take Mom to lunch instead of just saying “I’m going to call you, we’re going to go to lunch.” I want people to keep in touch with my family better and not just want to know the details whenever we happen to run into them. In those same moments, I want them to stop with the quick reminders that they are there and they care. I also want them to stop offering the unsolicited advice of the 100 things Dad, Sister K and I should be doing or making Mom do. We are doing the best we can and if you really knew us, you’d know that.
I have learned it really is true what they say- Actions Speak Louder Than Words.