I felt like sharing it here on The Storm Lamp tonight.
It is about friendship.
Was told today that the father of my best friend, MN, has cancer.
MN did not tell it to me yet, but I know he will, because we will talk sooner rather than later. (Tomorrow is his birthday.)
I thought a lot about how to handle that and how to support MN the best. He is a very independent, proud and self-reliant man. It is difficult for him to admit when he is overwhelmed.
Not so much wonder.
His mother has been ill for many years and close to dying and his uncle once shot said uncle’s girlfriend and then jumped from a bridge.
Yes, it is true, unfortunately. I remember that day (in high school) very clearly.
MN’s only response to me about the murder/suicide episode was a gritted “My uncle has done something very stupid and selfish”.
MN is one of the most beautiful persons I know, he is a musician, a storyteller, an artist and above all the real deal when it comes to being there for others.
Often, though, it feels as if he hasn’t too many persons being there for him. Much of that may have to do with him generally and almost habitually projecting an image of self-reliance and confidence, even if he can admit to being pressed, sad or angry.
Come to think of it, I’ve heard MN tell me many times how he felt, but rarely seen him show it. I think the last time I saw him truly angry was when we were teens and we had sabotaged a role-playing game he had created for us, by generally goofing around and not taking it seriously.
Usually his eyes and tone will get dark, when he is angry but he always talks civilized and is much in control of his emotions, or the display of emotions.
No great wonder, with a family history like his and lots of people dependent on him for a great many things.
For example, he had 40-50 people – just ‘the guys’ – come over for his last birthday, people whom he knew from work, music, family, private, etc. I’d be hard pressed to find 10 persons only to come over for my birthday, if couples were not allowed. In any case, my point is that with so many connections many people do turn to MN for help and advice, or just take his time and attention, but in private and business-contexts. And he lets many of them, including me, do it, of course.
But again: Who is taking time for him? Except in superficial ways? And who will he allow to take time for him? Those are the big questions. Continue reading “Deserving”