My wife came home last Friday after more than two weeks of being in the hospital and rehab following knee-replacement surgery. It so happened that I had to be heading out of town at the very hour she was checking out of rehab because I was scheduled to officiate at an out-of-town wedding for the weekend and the wedding rehearsal was just a few hours away.
Enter some wonderful friends.
First was our local friend, Darlene, who met Linda at rehab and brought Linda with all her belongings home and then stayed with her until Saturday, running errands, helping around the house, taking care of the dog and assisting Linda with tasks she is not able yet to do herself. Linda was not (and is not) ready to be without assistance for a long period of time, and with me out of town, Darlene was a god-send those first 24 hours home. Thank you, Darlene.
Then on Saturday, two of Linda’s lifelong friends from St. Louis drove to Louisville to spend Saturday until Tuesday with her. Even though I was back from the wedding trip by mid-Sunday afternoon, Patty and Pam stayed until Tuesday cooking, cleaning, chauffeuring, helping with physical therapy, dog-sitting, doing laundry, and laughing about past and present things that only friends with a long history can do. Being able to spend that amount of time together was extremely rare for the three of them and a real help for Linda in every way – physically, emotionally, spiritually. Thank you, Patty and Pam, even though you didn’t take me up on my offer of paying you $1000 each to make everything in the over-stuffed freezers and refrigerator disappear. (I fixed the sink you broke, by the way. The bill is in the mail.)
We live in a busy, busy world with long to-do lists that are a challenge to complete even without interruptions. How many of us are willing to take a major chunk out of time we could devote to our own to-do lists to be the kind of friend that Darlene, Patty and Pam have been to us in recent days, as well as several others who have brought or are scheduled to bring meals? It’s a reminder to me that if I want to have friends like that, I need to be a friend like that.
I guess the title of this post is a misnomer because you can’t measure real friendship. But you sure know it when you see it.