Monday, February 28, 2005

Never Too Late To Hear From Friends...

Folks -
The post and the magic of e-mail and blogs have brought no end of joy recently.

In the past few days, several notes have poured in from good friends, surprisingly, all sounding a similar theme. They start off with an apology and an admission of embarrassment for not writing sooner. And I reply to each with the same words - It's never too late to hear from friends. And there's nothing to be embarrassed about.

I've been there myself. Good news is easy to react quickly to and, in some ways, so is bad news. God forbid, if there's a death in the family it may come as a shock, but the reaction comes in a regimented manner. A sympathy wake...a funeral.

It's those in-between times when it's unclear what the rules are. In my case, as I awaited the liver transplant, it was sometimes confusing as to what the day-to-day situation was. The whole thing was pretty damn spooky to us and we lived it. I can't imagine what it was like for you folks watching anxiously from the outside.

Nobody wants to interfere or call at the wrong time - that's understandable. And the whole matter gets cloudier as the distance either in physical miles or in months, grows.

But don't think that because you weren't one of our front-line angels, who watched the kids, ran errands, shoveled snow, cooked a meal for us, or contributed to the Save David Foundation that we don't know that you're out there for us.

Last weekend, Nancy and Alex and Tasha and I made a stealth trip to Harrisburg, PA for a surprise 80th birthday party for her marvelous Dad, Tom Fleming.

I've scarcely seen Nancy's elegant Mom, Ginny, look prouder and happier than in having pulled off this wonderful event, keeping the surprise intact even as she conspired for weeks with her kids, who were coming in from all over the country.

Tom has said to me and Nancy over the past many months that he and Ginny always will be there to help us out - ''that's what families do'' - and indeed Nancy's family and mine have given so much love and support to us.

In impromptu remarks, Nancy toasted her Dad by saying that not only did he and her Mom live out the notion that ''we're always there for you'' - they also instilled it in their children, now scattered across the country.

We may not see each other, or talk to each other for months, or even years, Nancy told her siblings, but ''we know we're always there for each other.''

That applies to friends, too. We know your prayers are being heard and you're in our thoughts as we are in your's.



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