My friend Tammy e-mailed me last week, asking completely out of the blue, how I was doing.
Not just "How are ya?" but "How are you REALLY?"
I just about spit my coffee out considering what I was thinking earlier this morning.
Now you have to understand Tammy and I have never met in person, so it's not like she can read my body language or hear my voice to know that I was having a bad day.
We've talked on the phone a couple of times, but she lives in Canada and is one of my friends from an online group that goes WAY back.
We have a lot of eerie similarities in some respects, and great big differences in others, but when it all boils down to it, we're friends because we respect each other enough to be able to appreciate what we do have in common, and not focus so hard on what we don't.
Tammy's intuition to write me that quick e-mail couldn't have come at a better time. I was sad that day. Very sad.
You probably know how it feels when it all just sorta piles up on you? And maybe you don't feel like you have anywhere to "put it"?
I don't think I'm alone in having rough days when it's hard to look out at the world as it is right now and wonder without joking "Where are we going, and what is this handbasket that we're in?"
Some of it is personal. Some of it is global. Some of it is just other people's problems that I am aware of and I'm sad because there is nothing I can do about it.
I have a friend whose struggling with a family situation I won't go into here, but it hurts her terribly. I have an acquaintance, a friend of my friend I've met a few times now at a girl's night out. This person is suffering from cancer, who just got the news that she may have 6 months to live.
And combine that with the blues of the season, the due dates of all my lost pregnancies, and Nora just getting a horrendous cold which = whiny baby...
Stack on that a bunch of school pressure (I could whine about my prof, but I'm getting an A, so I guess I can't really complain except that I think I've taught MYSELF more Chemistry than he's taught me this quarter), and a husband who's worked so many hours he can't see straight.
Well, suffice to say, this past week pretty much sucked.
But as my friend Tammy said, sometimes you have to ease up on your expectations of yourself and those around you. That life isn't going to be perfect, and grief will never truly be gone. She gently tossed some words back at me that I had used on her. "Grief is what it is."
Anyway, this wasn't supposed to be a "woe is me" so much as a "Thank you Tammy", because really what amazes me most is that despite tough times, personal, global, and otherwise, it's friends reaching out and picking us up and helping us dust ourselves off and keep going.
For all of you who wonder how someone's doing? Ask. You might be surprised at the answer, or find out how much you helped someone that day.
And for me, I just want to tell Tammy, "Thank you for being such a great friend."