Another Chance

Yesterday morning I received the news that a dear friend had been rushed to the hospital, prognosis unknown.  I was hit with all the usual feelings that accompany really bad news: shock, worry, grief and uncertainty.  But as the day went on, two thoughts kept pushing their way to the front of my jumbled emotions.  The first was that I was in no way ready to lose my friend and couldn’t even bear to think about a life without her.  The second one was that I wasn’t completely sure she knew how much I valued our friendship or was aware of exactly how much I not only liked her, but respected and admired her as well.   Which, of course, made the thought of losing her that much worse.

I wondered if I had ever told her how much I appreciate having her in my life, or how much I enjoy her company.  Did I let her know that I love the way she always answers my questions honestly, instead of just telling me what she knows I want to hear?  Or how much I count on her for advice when I can’t find my own way forward?  Or how much I appreciate the many times she’s literally stood by my side when I needed moral support to deal with delicate and difficult situations?  I had to admit that I didn’t know.

And as much as I wished I had made absolutely sure she knows how much I value her friendship, I also wondered if I had ever let her know exactly why I wanted to be her friend in the first place.  Sure, she’s always nice to me, and that’s an important part of any friendship.  But my close friends aren’t just nice, they are also people I admire and and believe to be genuinely good and decent.  Not perfect, of course, because no one is perfect.  But they are people who are good, deep down in their heart.

So I worried I hadn’t let her know how much I admire the way she lives her life on her own terms, doing what she thinks is right even when others disagree, and isn’t afraid to speak her mind.  I am in awe of her generous spirit, her can-do attitude and her willingness to accept others for who they are, without judging or trying to change them.  But I’m not at all sure I ever told her any of that, even though I know how much we all need to hear those kinds of validating words from the people who know us best.

This morning, I got the wonderful news that my friend is going to be just fine.  Words can’t express how happy that made me (and all the other people who love her), and I am beyond relieved.  More importantly, I hope that I have learned a lesson from the past twenty-four hours about how necessary it is to let the people we love know how much we care about them, and why.  Because life doesn’t always give us second chances.

67 thoughts on “Another Chance

  1. I sure do appreciate this reminder. Not only for friends, but family near and far. Sure, we say “Love you!” but sometimes we need to make more than the Hallmark effort.
    I’m glad your friend is OK and, thank you!

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Ann, I suspect you will do this, but are you planning to send this to Patty (and tell her to read her email)? You said what most people don’t ever get to hear, what usually isn’t said until you’re at their funerals. I wish I had your eloquence. I guess printing it out and writing at the bottom, “What she said,” and mailing it to Patty would be cheating. 😉

    Liked by 2 people

    • She often reads my blog, but yes, I’m going to tell her to read this one for sure. Just hope she doesn’t mind me writing about it, but I honestly think she wont, or I wouldn’t have done it. And one, you are plenty eloquent yourself, and two, you are more than welcome to cheat if you want!

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  3. Not too long ago we discussed how important it is to communicate our feelings to the ones that are very close. I believe your honest post is doing just that,So if you did not have the chance to pass on your thoughts and feelings of deeply felt appreciation to your friend, who is- thank God -much better now, then let her read your marvelous post. I am sure she will like it.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. I’m so glad things turned out well, and even more so what you learned from it. I hope you plan on visiting your friend and telling her these things. It will mean so much to her, and I think you will feel good about it too. If you feel you love her – tell her – it is a beautiful gift to give! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  5. So touching! I am glad you have a second chance to express your true feelings to your dearest friend. I have a close friend that moved away for more than two years. Only, when she left I realized what a huge role and support she was for me. Now that she is back, I always try to remind her how happy I am that she is near me and what I like about her.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Great post! I used to be like you but now I’m in a place where i always tell my friends what i love about them, how beautiful they are and how much they mean to me. Even when i think it might not make a difference to them but i still do anyway. All in all, I’m glad your friend is much better.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you! And that is very wise of you to tell the people you care about how much they mean to you. It took me a bit longer to learn that lesson, but I believe it does make a difference. Good for you!

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Every once in a while, life taps us on the shoulder and says, “pay attention”. Sometimes it does this with the beauty of nature – and other times with nature’s darker side.

    Glad to hear your friend is okay.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Ann, I feel like I might have said this a few times already, but it bares repeating. You are good people.
    And I think having these priceless relationships play a big part. As you mention so eloquently, friends that love enough (both you and themselves) to be supportive AND accountable make us better people. So glad to hear that she is on the mend.

    When your friend reads this, I recommend offering an extra-soft Hankie. Perfumed and lubricated Kleenex tend to irritate the eyes after using more than a few…

    Liked by 1 person

    • You are both kind and funny, and without a doubt “good people.” And yes, one of things I appreciate about my friend is that she doesn’t mistake kindness for blanket approval of everything the people she likes say and do. That accountability, coming from someone who truly cares about us, is a huge gift!
      And now I’m off to buy a hankie…. Thanks, Gabe!!!

      Liked by 1 person

  9. I’m so glad your friend is ok, Ann. What a huge relief and now a chance to tell her exactly how much she means to you and how much she adds to your life. As others have commented above, it might be good to share this post with your friend as it expresses your feelings so eloquently and genuinely. I am sure she will be very moved by what you have written.

    Personally, I am an affectionate person and do like to show my love and appreciation of my friends and loved ones although this is often in the form of writing (as you have done here), or in my case, in letters or cards.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, I took the advice and emailed her the link, even though she usually does read my blog. I figured in the midst of all that is going on, she could miss this post, and it says it better in writing than I could in speech. I don’t know about you, but I’m much better at writing than talking! And good for you for letting those you care about know it!

      Liked by 1 person

    • Oh, please do! It’s hard, because not all of us are good at saying stuff like that. But trust me, if you think even for a minute that you have lost a friend, you will regret all the stuff you didn’t say to them…. And I was lucky to get another chance. Not everyone does.

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  10. I understand your feelings- I lost a younger and seemingly healthy friend, two weeks ago. She died in her sleep. We are all in shock and waiting to find out why. There is more than one way to say “I love you” There is also an understanding in solid friendships-Words are so important , actions are as well. I am so thankful your friend is ok-I bet if you ask her, she knew you love and admire her, but tell her again again in your own beautiful way-and celebrate.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I am so sorry for your loss. I would bet anything that your friend knew exactly how much you loved her, because as you say, your actions spoke louder than words ever could. I can’t imagine how hard this has been for you and everyone who cared for her, but I honestly believe that she knew how you felt. Please know that I am so sorry for your grief….

      Liked by 1 person

  11. I am your friend is doing better. I just had an issue with a friend too and I contacted her yesterday to resolve it. You just never know how long people will be in your life. Around this time last year, I lost another friend unexpectedly. We’d been on opposite sides of a heated debate but talked about how that difference of opinion didn’t affect our friendship. When she passed away, man was I happy we hadn’t been upset at each other. You’re so right. sometimes, you don’t get a second chance.

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    • I’m so sorry about your friend you lost, but glad that you were able to put our differences of opinion aside. This way, you can just grieve, and not have any guilt. Life never guarantees us second chances, so we need to let people know how we feel about them while we can!

      Liked by 1 person

  12. I’m so glad your dear friend is better. Your story reminds me of the words to the John Maher song, “Say What You Need To Say.”
    We always think we have enough time to say or do the things we want to should say. And then something happens and we lose that chance.
    Thank you for a sobering reminder of how precious and short out time is.
    Great post, Ann.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, George! I realize how incredibly lucky I am that my friend is still around for me to let her know how I feel. For a while there, I wasn’t sure she would be, and it was just devastating. Life is too short to wait….

      Liked by 1 person

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