Old friend

I saw a friend today. In fact, actually I didn’t, Hubby did, and I had to do a triple take.
We haven’t seen him around for a while though we were aware he and his wife had separated about 2 years ago.
We are impartial, but had always said that if he wanted some company, he’d be welcome here. I invited him round for a meal, endless cups of coffee, and the answer was always Thanks, but he never arrived. It got to the stage where we stopped asking.

I didn’t recognise him today. He was in a wheelchair pushing a specially adapted trolley in the supermarket. It is obvious he has been ill, but it goes beyond that.
He is broken, both physically and mentally.
My gut reaction was shock, and as we talked, I felt the fingers of guilt creep across the back of my neck.
If only we had persevered. If only we had taken the time to knock on his door. If only we had cared.
Then I stopped.
It was not our fault, and by his own admission, he wanted to be on his own, to deal with his problems alone. He didn’t want to ask for help.
We left to go down our separate shopping aisles, once again saying that he would be welcome if he wanted some company, or if he wanted Hubby to pop round, he just had to pick up the phone.
We know it won’t happen.

Walking back to the car, we discussed it and both agreed that for a Man to ask for help is so much more difficult than for a female.
Why is that? It’s not a shameful thing, feeling the need to reach out for support, wanting someone to confide in, share the load, or even help to put things into perspective.
Hubby and I are not gossips.
If someone tells us something in confidence, it goes no further.
If someone has problems, we offer our time and a listening ear, but it is not our business to spread the word.
If he didn’t contact us when he needed someone because he felt we would blab, he doesn’t know us very well, and that saddens us both.
Everyone needs someone, sometime.
No-one should be afraid or embarrassed to ask for help.
Friends don’t judge. We thought we were friends.
We are here.



About pensitivity101

I am a retired number cruncher with a vivid imagination and wacky sense of humour which extends to short stories and poetry. I love to cook and am a bit of a dog whisperer as I get on better with them than people sometimes! In November 2020, we lost our beloved Maggie who adopted us as a 7 week old pup in March 2005. We decided to have a photo put on canvas as we had for her predecessor Barney. We now have three pictures of our fur babies on the wall as we found a snapshot of Kizzy, my GSD when Hubby and I first met so had hers done too. On February 24th 2022 we were blessed to find Maya, a 13 week old GSD pup who has made her own place in our hearts. You can follow our training methods, photos and her growth in my blog posts. From 2014 to 2017 'Home' was a 41 foot narrow boat where we made strong friendships both on and off the water. We were close to nature enjoying swan and duck families for neighbours, and it was a fascinating chapter in our lives. We now reside in a small bungalow on the Lincolnshire coast where we have forged new friendships and interests.
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12 Responses to Old friend

  1. janegundogan says:

    This post makes me incredibly sad. I think back to my Dad after my Mum passed away. I moved home to ensure that he wasn’t alone, until he was ready to re-enter the world. He didn’t want my help, I just thrust it upon him. Turns out we became great mates and hung out together – a lot – until he re-married.

    • Hubby used to pop in occasionally just to make sure all was OK but felt he was being intrusive although he was never refused a cup of tea or coffee.
      We invited him round for an evening, and he just didn’t turn up. No phone call or anything, and the next time we saw him, he said he’d forgotten all about it.
      We accepted that, but when this happened on every invitation (even morning coffee as he was passing our fence when he’d agree but never come back after ‘seeing to the dog’), we pulled back, thinking he just needed space.
      It is indeed very sad.

  2. Crooked Tracks says:

    It is sad but its sounds like you did everything you could to be a friend.

  3. joebeukes84 says:

    I agree. It is a particulary hard fact that us guys battle to ask for help. I think it has a lot to do with being prideful, but the cost of maintaining pride rarely comes cheap. In my case it helps to be open, vulnerable and teachable with my wifey. From that initial and closest friendship it becomes easier to open up to other friends.

    As for trying to reach out and being a friend…good on you!

  4. ardysez says:

    It is interesting, isn’t it, that some people seem adverse or unable to accept help. To those of us who see it on the continuum of human interaction, it is a mystery. Lovely post.

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  7. joyroses13 says:

    So sad, but you are right, you and your hubby did what you could! I agree with you, I do think it comes harder for men to ask for help. I think men are so ingrained that they need to be independent and the strong ones, but we all NEED each other. We all NEED help at times and there is nothing wrong with admitting it.
    I am sorry about your friend and that they couldn’t see that.

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