Thoughts for a Friend

Helping someone can be awkward. You don’t know what to say or do. You question your motives or whether you should get involved at all. Being a friend is about being there. Almost like a marriage: in sickness and in health; in good times and bad. That is how one should be with a true friend. It’s a difficult task.

My friend is in a dark place. Her life is shattered in many ways. The reasons are many and it happened over a very long time. I learned tonight that she is in need of professional help. She’s barely getting through a day. I can feel her pain. There is not much I can do – except just be there. I;ve been doing a lot of listening, but I realize her problems are so complex that I can;t begin to really be of any productive help. She feels alone and lost.

I know deep inside, she’ll find that place where she was long ago when she was a strong, vibrant person with love and laughter in her heart. She has lost that person. Perhaps with the right help, she’ll rediscover who she is and start anew.

I wish I could have helped her more a long time ago; but I did not know the trauma she was experiencing. I wonder if I was truly her friend because I did not know her pain. Some things are so deep, we do not share them even with the closest of friends. In sickness and health; in good times and bad. I will be there for her on the other side of her pain.

Life Doesn’t Always Go According to Plan

ImageThe tag line from the Philadelphia-based film “Silver Linings Playbook” is probably true for all of us – Life doesn’t always go according to plan. It rarely does, right? A dear friend of mine often repeated something her mother told her,” You can’t trust your own slip.” If memory serves, her mom once pinned something important to her slip (women used to wear those under their dresses). When she went to get that something she pinned to her slip – it was gone. Thus, “you can’t trust your own slip.”

“Silver Linings Playbook” is all about trusting and loving, then being hurt and crawling back from dark places. There have been times when I was in a dark place, but having the presence of mind to talk to someone; troubleshoot the problem and get back to where I need to be has prevented me from diving into a place that others unfortunately visit – some for too long. Inquirer columnist Karen Heller did a superb job writing about “Silver Linings Playbook.” So I will let her tell you why the film should be honored this award season.