As I’m sure you all know, the most helpful assistance in getting through hard times or illness is to surround yourself with friends and family. Sadly, I don’t have any here in Vancouver. Thankfully, my friend Chris from Kingston, who I happen to believe might have been my brother in another life, sent out an email to all the friends he has in Vancouver and asked if someone would take pity on me and be my friend. A lovely woman named Georgie was the only one to answer that email.
Over the last month, we’ve discussed how many similarities we had and commented on how we should get together. It took a while, as the timing never quite worked out, but we finally managed to meet up. It should have been an hour long coffee meet-up, but it ended up being a three hour event. And you know that comfortable feeling you have when you’ve known someone your whole life? And that ease of conversation? Well, it felt like that. The friendship was there long before I walked through the tea shop door.
When I was little, I threw all that I had into my friendships. I would spend my allowance on buying my friends gifts, I would craft homemade cards for their birthdays and I had defended them in a few schoolyard fights, and later, bar room fights (not proud of the latter). And much like childhood friendships often do, most of them faltered. I would come home devastated and confused as to why they weren’t the dedicated true kind of friend that I was. “Kelly,” my mom would say as she wiped away sticky tears, “not everyone treats people the way you do.” Still, I remained determined that those people were out there.
In my previous blog posts, I’ve mentioned my best friend Nikki who remains the ultimate in kindness and compassion to this day. Away from her, and moving to a new city where I don’t really know anyone, I worried that I would feel lonely for a long time. But Geogie wrapped me in a huge hug when I came through the door and then, with the most precious of Irish accents, told me how she was so excited to finally meet me. I plonked down into the chair across from her and we spilled our life stories over pots of Earl Grey, things I’ve only shared with Nikki or on the lines of my journals. I told her about being sick and about my family, who is so painfully far away. We talked about our favourite places in Ireland (that’s me in Ireland at the Cliffs of Moher last summer) and about the loves of our lives and whether or not we wanted children. And much like I think friends should, she never once judged or mocked. She just listened.
Our friendly banter gave me such relief – I have a friend! – that I got home and was almost in tears. How badly I’ve needed a girlfriend around (any friend for that matter). And someone so kind no less!
Yes, I stepped into my apartment and repeated a few words to myself: I am not alone anymore.
Do I sound a little crazy and obsessive? Maybe. But hey, I can blame the craziness on being sick, right?