There are as many definitions and descriptions of friendship as there are friends in the world. There are forever friends, fast friends, fair weather friends, true blue friends, and so forth. I am fortunate to have a very diverse group of friends who add so much to the little dog and pony show that I call my life, and I was more than happy to offer support to one of these friends this afternoon.
Real friends show up for each other in good times and in bad times and in every other kind of time, and that is exactly what I did for my friend and colleague. Frank is the 70-year-old Plant Manager at the day shelter for homeless men where we both work, and for 4 1/2 years, I have been his unofficial Assistant Plant Manager and official lunch buddy and partner in crime. Every day at precisely 12:30 p.m., we meet in the break room to share a meal, but more than food, we share the highs and lows of our day, stories of our respective lives, and laughter. Lots and lots of laughter.
It was no laughing matter when I received word the day after Christmas that Frank had fallen at his home and was taken by ambulance to the hospital, where he was diagnosed with a broken hip and underwent surgery. I was heart-broken to hear the news about my friend, and I cannot imagine returning to work and not seeing him there. He really means a lot to me, and I would do anything for him. So, today, I did what I could to support him during his recovery.
I surprised him at the nursing home where he is rehabilitating, and I administered a healthy dose of chatter and humor to boost his spirits and mine. We spent the better part of an hour talking about his recovery and catching up on all that has transpired since we last saw each other two weeks ago, and we fell into the easy rhythm that we have created over time together. When it came time to say ‘good bye’ to Frank, he thanked me, and I promised to return soon. I may not have healed his hip, but I hope that my visit helped his recovery in other ways. He may be a friend in need, but so am I, as I need my friend, Frank.
Just one thing each day . . .