Friday is a day when we anticipate unwinding. My wife, Tara, contributed this week's column about a recent weekend that was anything but tranquil
Friday afternoon was rolling into Friday evening and I stopped what I was working on to see I had a missed call and a text message from my best friend on my cell. CAN YOU CALL ME flashed on the screen and suggested some intensity, since she usually won't text more than a word at a time. She hates texting.
I called and found out her husband had been rushed to the hospital and that she needed a ride to meet him there. I left my work, picked her up and we were to the hospital quickly. Her husband was very ill, so ill that the doctor decided he needed to be transported immediately to a hospital in the area that specializes in dealing with what was wrong. In an hour of being at the local hospital, he was being moved by helicopter to receive appropriate care. Those few hours of phone calls to my friend's family and friends, prayers said out loud and in our hearts, hand holding and saying "I love you," brought life's fragility to the center of my attention.
The wonderful news is that my friend's husband is now stable, and almost unbelievably came home a few days later. I am ultimately most grateful for this blessing.
In moments like this, what is most important comes to the surface. In the midst of dire circumstances what matters most isn't how much money you have, what honors or accomplishments you've gained, or what kind of car you drive. What matters most is that you have a friend to be there for; and that your second-hand Stratus is just what's needed to get them where they need to be.
This moment on Friday held some clarity for some things that had been getting me down: situations and people I find myself frustrated with-and spend too much time fussing over-probably never give those circumstances a second thought. If they don't consider them important, why do I? Why should I? This is something that needs to change in me.
However, the things and people that are important-like my best friend, her husband and my family-are my comfort. In that moment I knew the precious value of this friendship. In light of this friendship, all the other circumstances are dross. I'm most grateful for the dear, precious ones that know we'll answer when they send the message we most need to hear... "You are my comfort, too."
Ian Eastman, M.A. is a community educator at Family Services of Warren County-a charitable agency that provides counseling, substance abuse services, and support groups.