Friends

About a week before G’s surgery, unbeknownst to her, I sent out a little flyer to a number of our friends, just letting them know the surgery was a “go”, and when her expected due home date was. I also said that if anyone wanted to call or stop by on Sunday (yesterday), that they would be very welcome.

One of the things G did pre-surgery was paint the garage. Yes, I know. The boys “helped” her with one side of it, and I did some ladder work (which I HATE) on the front, but by God, she HAD to have the whole thing done, so she somehow got all but about 4 feet of trim at the very peak in the front finshed. That unfinished section was driving her crazy and she “blessed” it under her breath every time we drove in and out of the garage. We don’t have an extension ladder, or she would have done it, despite doctor’s orders to STAY OFF LADDERS.

The night before she came home, one of our friends called and said that she and her husband (who is a school custodian and general handy guy) would be happy to come over on Sunday and paint that for her as a “get well” gift. I thought that was so great! And what a surprise for her!

She’d gotten a few phone calls during the week, and by Sunday kind of knew I had told folks what was going on; she just didn’t know I had sent out an actual notice. She should have known something was up, though, when I made my special blintz casserole with blueberry sauce–not just a 2 person proposition.

Around 10 am, our friend J. called, wanting to know if she could stop by soon, which was fine. We had not seen much of her in a while since she and her partner split, and she had made a couple of moves, finally settling into a house barely 3 miles from us. She came over and brought G the last of her snap dragons from her yard (we’re having VERY warm weather this fall).

We had a lovely visit, and found out she is now teaching art at the local community college. If you want to check out here work, go here. She’s an amazing pastel artist.

Then, we had just settled down for a rest, when the doorbell rings and it’s our friends G&L (yes, another set of G&L). It was the first time L had been to the house, as she is a civillian in the Air Force and had been in Iraq the times before when G. had visited. We were really happy to see them, and G., bless her heart, and brought us home made chicken soup, home made rolls and an apple pie!! Yay for friends!

I got to give them the tour of the house and yard, and my G. got to make her mandatory trip down the 3 steps off the back porch. Then, while we were sitting in the living room, G. sees a truck with a ladder in the back pull up. She says, kind of suspicious, “Who’s in that truck with the ladder?” “Oh,” I say, “That’s D & G, and they’re going to finish painting the garage!”

She was literally speechless. She got all teary-eyed and tried to hide it. I told her I knew it was bugging her no matter what she said, and I just worked it out to get it fixed for her. They came in and chatted for a bit with all of us, and then I went to help them get situated with the paint, a brush and their ladder. It took maybe 30 mins, having to move the ladder a few times. G was saying how happy she was to actually DO something for someone, because so many times friends will go through things like surgery or a death, or whatever, and she will ask if they need anything, and every one says, Oh, no, I’m fine, I don’t need anything, and you know they DO. She was glad I had reached out. And so was I because *I* was not getting up on that ladder to paint the garage!! If necessary, I would have hired someone, but it’s great to have friends who will step up.

The sun was going down by the time everyone left, and G was lying on the couch, pretty physically and emotionally exhausted, but in a good way. She was still a little weepy, because for most of her life a “friend” meant someone you got shit-faced drunk with and had to listen to them tear you down, and that was about it. Her whole past relationship was 15 years revolved around a drunk, dysfunctional family that she basically took care of. So, the concept of having a REAL friend is fairly new to her even though she has the art of BEING a friend down pat.

So, today we have good food in the fridge, flowers on the table, and a fully painted garage. And I promised her I’d take her to the coffee shop today, so I better get going.

Have a great day, all you friends out there!

GG

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