Saturday, 27 February 2010

The Diversity of Friends

Photo copyright: Maggie May


My good friend, Hetty and I meet up every now and then. Recently it has been quite regularly. When I am fit enough we go for a walk together. She usually picks me up in her car and we walk in some part of Bristol or other because there are some lovely places to do that. The picture above is a woodland walk which we went on a couple of weeks ago when I was feeling stronger than I have been feeling lately.
Hetty and I always have much catching up to do and talk nineteen to the dozen. We seem to get on to some really bizarre subjects and I feel that I can say anything to her and she does the same with me. She is never judgemental.
This week I didn't feel well enough for a walk but Hetty decided to come round to our house anyway for a chat. I think that she was expecting me to be quite ill and maybe, poor company. However, it wasn't long before we were in hysterics, just like teenagers laughing fit to bust and some of the things that we talked about were OUTRAGEOUS and not suitable to print here. All that laughing did seem to lift my spirit and I felt it did me the power of good, though Harry made some excuse to go out as he obviously thought we were quite mad.

Another friend, known as Squirrel came to see me during the week. She and I have great empathy towards one another because Squirrel has an auto immune disease that makes her very ill indeed and she had to undergo chemotherapy a few years ago to try and halt it. Sometimes Squirrel (who is young enough to be my daughter), just likes to sit and have me stroke her hair. I think she looks on me as a mother figure. Sometimes we laugh a lot on her good days but more often than not we just commiserate with each other.

I was thinking a lot about how different my friends are one from another and wonder what draws us to one particular person with one type of personality and yet we can be equally drawn to someone else with a completely different one. I doubt whether any of them have anything in common and probably would not really get on with each other. The same goes for acquaintances and lesser friends. Any ideas why we do this? Are we attracting these different types of people or do we choose them subconsciously? Maybe it is just coincidence that friends seem so diverse, or is it because we are all so very unique?

On Friday I went to see my brother, Eddie Bluelights and he was doing very well following his hip replacement, I thought. He has a slightly swollen leg because he managed to get an infection in it by knocking his hip against the handles of a commode (portable loo) in hospital. Sorry if I gave out too much information, Eddie!
He is slightly pale but you should see him shoot up the stairs to his computer in order to check his email. He was up there in a flash, using sticks too.

Harry put on a face mask in the car and drove the 12 miles to where Eddie and Maria live. I can assure you we got some very funny looks and everyone gave us a very wide berth, but that was fine by both of us. Probably thought we had the plague. Its quite common to go around in a face mask in Japan, so my son informs us, but to do so over here causes amusement or panic.

36 comments:

aims said...

I wear a face mask when I go out Maggie. Especially to places like Walmart. I also wore a face mask in the airport and definitely on the plane - that small enclosed space just circulating coughs and sneezes and all kinds of germs.

I don't care that people stare or run the other way. It's my protection from illness and they can think what they like!

Chic Mama said...

I think we tend to gravitate to people we would get on with regardless of age etc...
Funny I took a photograph in the garden yesterday that looks nearly the same as yours...the colours the stripped branches etc.. XX

Working Mum said...

Timely post for me. I went to visit a friend in a HDU today who's been in intensive care since Christmas. I was really nervous about seeing him and rehearsed all sorts of conversations to keep the mood light, but when I saw him, it was like old times. Even with a tracheotomy and an artificial voice box, we didn't stop talking or laughing. That's what good friends are like.

Expat mum said...

Friends are what counts aren't they? Glad to hear that Eddie's got the new hip too.

Debbie(single;complicated) said...

its so true how different friends are. I have friends from my past who live the life I used to live..friends from my present..working single moms..and friends from the future..woman who have overcome and started over!! ALL so different. Yet all so vital in my heart and life! Glad Eddie is doing ok!

Mimi said...

Hello there Maggie!
Lovely photo from your walk- it looks like a lovely place to have a walk and a chat. I'm glad you've got such good friends- I think friends are very important, in good times but more so in bad times.
How we choose them? I think we do gravitate towards people we get on with, but then sometimes I think the "Great Plan" puts people in our path who will teach us (or help us in learning) the lessons that we are here to learn.
And the picture you paint of Eddie shooting up the staire, using sticks, to check his email is hilarious! I don't wear masks, my oils are my mask, but I initially laughed thinking he was wearing a different type of mask as a joke!

Suburbia said...

I love the diversity of friends, I have never considered why we choose such a variety.

The photo is of a walk in Blaise isn't it? not far from me.

Eddie Bluelights said...

Glad you had such a good time with Hetty and Squirrel - laughter is a great tonic. Remember Grandmother when she said, "Laugh and the whole world laughs with you, weep and you weep alone".

Great to see you and Harry on Friday and I laughed as I saw Harry driving away in his mask - looked like a Sci-Fi movie.
Also laughed at your acount of me racing upstairs with my sticks to check emails - so funny. I am even faster today! A new Olympic Record LOL. Feelin a lot better now the infection is under control. Will post about it soon.

Bernie said...

Maggie, I believe God provides the people we need in our lives for any situation we are dealing with. They may only be there a short time but their support is invaluable during this period, some of our friends are for our lifetime, these are real gems and we all need them. I never question my friends Maggie, I know God has sent them to me. I am very blessed.
Glad to hear Eddie is doing so much better, and I am praying you and Harry are feeling better as well. Big hugs my dear friend..:-)

VioletSky said...

I have several friends who are very different from one another. I used to think it would be great to have all my school, church, work, life friends together for a large gathering, but soon realized it would be a disaster as I think I am a very different person depending on who I am with. I would end up feeling overwhelmed and wouldn't know who I was.

Good to read your updates on Eddie.

Rose said...

Sounds like you have some wonderful friends, Maggie! I have no idea what draws us to certain people--my best friend and I have very different personalities, yet we have been best friends for 50 years. Last night I went out with a small group of other friends; we're all retired teachers, so we have that in common, but it's so much more than that. We find ourselves giggling and laughing like teenagers over the silliest things. But whatever the reason is, friends like these are priceless!

Marguerite said...

Sounds like a lovely day with your friends. I also believe that God draws us to the exact people that we need, for different times in our lives. Like pieces in a puzzle.
Also was glad to hear that your dear brother is on the mend. Blessings to you both! Love, Maruerite

lakeviewer said...

Got be careful! Glad to know your friends are rallying around you at this time.

Jeni said...

Just having someone you are comfortable with -whether it is out walking or simply sitting and talking, can give one's spirit a tremendous lift and it looks like that's what your friends both do for you!
The girls in my monthly lunch bunch -who I've been friends with almost forever or so it seems -to an outside observer may tend to think that we couldn't possibly all be such good friends, or especially them with me, because they all tend to be at least a touch on the "prim and proper" side and here I am, big mouth, a few curse words getting tossed into the mix plus, I am the only one of the five of us who smokes too and yes, I enjoy a brew -or two or four, etc., from time to time whereas none of these friends indulge in any of that. And yet, when we get together -aside from my more colorful vocabulary -it's like we were 50 plus years ago, back in school -still really good, close friends. Friendship really is a wonderful gift to have -and to share -isn't it?

Brian Miller said...

friends are good like that...making you laugh, smile and feel better.

Ayak said...

There's nothing quite like laughing with a good friend to make you feel better!

My friends are also all very different, and I don't know why this is. I do make friends very easily, and maybe you do too. Perhaps this is why we don't immediately gravitate towards people who are similar, and thus it opens up the field to more diverse characters?

cheshire wife said...

Your friends are looking after you and that is the main thing.

the mother of this lot said...

Well they say laughter is the best medicine Maggie, so I'd keep on laughing if I were you!

Eternally Distracted said...

I totally agree on the friends. I have friends now that I don't think I would have ever met had I still lived in the UK, these friends have also become my family... I am not sure that they would all get along but somehow we all look out for and protect each other.

Reasons said...

Hmmm interesting thoughts re. friends Maggie May. Perhaps it's to do with their basic humanity and values and whether they tie in with ours...I think that can be a common link between the friends we choose and then what we have in common or how we make each other tick is a layer on top of that.

Love the mask idea - personally I think you are getting into a Micheal Jackson groove but if you want to say it's because of germs that's fine with me ;-) xx

The Green Stone Woman said...

Yes, but there's always one friend who is more friend than any other one. The one you are most connected to and the one that makes you feel that you have found your alter ego. That's a friendship made for life. Those are the very special ones and you should never let go of those people.

Life with Kaishon said...

I am so thankful for your wonderful friends. I think having friends in our lives helps to make our days brighter for sure. I don't know what I would do without mine. My best friend just moved an hour and 20 minutes away and I miss her. I used to see her every day and now just once every month or so.

I pray that you feel better and better and continue to fight and win this battle you are facing. XO

Akelamalu said...

Laughter is definitely the best medicine so I can understand why you felt better after the visit from your friend.

It is strange how we choose friends but when introduced to each other they don't really get on isn't it?

She Writes said...

My girl friends are very diverse and I love that about them. And they can make me laugh until I am drunk from it. They are the best medicine :).

Glad to hear Eddie is recovering well, though the nasty infection got him.

Strawberry Jam Anne said...

We also have a fairly wide and diverse circle of friends, some of whom we know would get on (and do) and some we would never dream of mixing. I suppose we all like variety. My own "girlfriends" are mostly different characters to one another, some very funny, some very serious and some very talented but I love them all. Good to hear your friends are being so supportive. A x

Jo said...

I had lunch with a friend recently, and she said she believes God puts our friends into our lives for a specific reason. She said she knew why God had put me into her life, but she didn't tell me, and I didn't ask. Just knowing she felt that way was good enough.

Here's to friendship...!

I hope you're feeling better soon. :-)

Michelle H. said...

The photo was wonderful and nostalgic. It reminded me of the better times when growing up on my parents' farm.

How we gravitate towards different people as friends? I'm up in the air about it as much as you. Sometimes how we lived as children becomes a factor. Other times, I think it has to do with our comfort zone and which people are appropriate for which contrasting situation.

When you get right down to it, perhaps friends are there to fulfill us in our needs when we are lacking a bit of something during our day: when we need a chuckle or an intelluctual debate or just something fun and crazy to do. And different people satisfy those needs in their own imaginative way.

So good to hear Eddie is doing better. Hope the swelling in his leg goes down soon!

imbeingheldhostage said...

I bet you and Eddie are a hoot to travel with :-) I'm glad you were able to have such an uplifting visit with your friend.
I don't have an answer for you about why we are drawn to certain people. Like you, my friends range from 20's to 70's and are all very different from one another.
I asked just the opposite question last year when I was wondering why I would have such an aversion to one couple. There's not really any specific reason why we wouldn't want to be their friends, but being with them always feels like such an effort!
Nice thought provoking post again. sorry to ramble :-)

Crystal Jigsaw said...

I'm with aims. If you're prone to infection it's a good idea to cover yourself. I'm sure more people would do it if they realised.

Having a good friend is such a wonderful thing isn't it.

CJ xx

Sniffles and Smiles said...

Dearest Maggie,
You know you are uppermost in my thoughts and prayers...I'm glad that you could enjoy time with your dear friend...and pray that your body is getting stronger again. Lovely photograph...from a truly lovely lady! Sending you many hugs, and much love, Janine XO

Deb said...

I agree with you about how different friends can be - and I think they meet the different needs we have within ourselves. Glad that you not only have many blogging friends who care about you but many 'real life people' friends who you can giggle with, walk with, and just sit with - it's all good. Take care, dear friend.

Dimple said...

Hi Maggie,
I'm glad you are having laughing good times with Hetty, even if you don't feel up to a walk. Laughter is good exercise and good for the soul!

God bless you today.
Love,
Dimple

Wendy said...

So nice to laugh until your face hurts (or you pee your pants, or both!)LOL! You are lucky to be blessed with good friends. I remember a girl I grew up with and laughing like that too. Haven't done that is quite a while. But it sure is fun. And takes away from feeling yukky!

gaelikaa said...

My friends are quite an assortment too - all very different. I think it's great. Good that you had a good laugh - do as much of that as you can. Thinking of you!

Nessa said...

I haven't seen anyone wear masks around here except in summer while mowing lawns.

RnPB: Ch 013 - Clean Up

Iota said...

I'm so glad you have Hetty.