Friendship is a strange and wonderful thing. The one friend I spend the most time with turns 90 this year, and she is fit and very active. She goes to a bid euchre group three times a week, attends an exercise class and has dinner at the church each week.
Our friendship came about when I moved in across from her, and she happened to quit driving and gave up her car. I got her prime parking spot, and as I was struggling to walk, had the walker, life became so much easier for me when I could park closer. In appreciation, I started taking her with me when I went shopping, and made those trips to the grocery store, Dollarama and Walmart. That stretched out to casual get togethers.
She replaced, in a way, the neighbor I had at my other place. She was also in her eighties, and we often got together, her place or mine, made out of town shopping trips and such. Sometimes, when you live alone, it's just nice to have a few minutes of conversation.
My daughter laughs at me and jokes about my 'old lady' friends. But here's the thing, they are more at my level of activity. One night, a few years ago, my friend and I were leaving the restaurant after having dinner. I was walking with a cane and struggling with pain and fatigue after sitting. She was walking with ease. I asked her what was wrong with this picture, as she's older, gray haired, and having no problem, and I was younger and having much difficulty.
I had other friends more my age, but they've fallen by the wayside. They don't call, they don't write. That comment was a bit smart ass, couldn't resist.
I had one friend, and we enjoyed day trips, checking out the countryside, stopping for lunch, shopping in some of those unique little shops we'd find along our way. The first summer we missed doing this, it was because it was so hot, and hot weather is not my friend. We continued to have hot summers and have never made a trip since. There are other seasons, but people move on.
I know friendship is a two way street, you have to be a friend, to keep a friend. But, I have a problem with my increasing issues of limited mobility, increasing pain and fatigue, that I not be a burden. I need those friends to want to spend time with me, even if it's just an hour over coffee at my place because I'm too tired to get dressed to go out.
I hate when someone says 'call me', because my calendar is open and free, they are one's who are busy. I think they should call me when they have some free time. I know that sounds a little 'woe is me' but I hate when I do call and they are busy and it's a 'call me next week' kind of thing.
I recently cancelled on lunch out of town with my brother because I didn't feel up to the out of town drive, sitting for hours and driving home. He didn't let me cancel, but drove all the extra miles to take me out for lunch here. That's a good brother and a true friend. I don't know if he really understands how much that meant to me.
Those are the friends who matter, who recognize that even though I've changed physically, I'm still me. Those are the friends worth their weight in gold.