Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Friends are the family we choose

I'm sure you've seen or heard quotes just like these:

 photo Friends_zpsqv17ed83.jpg 


I think these statements are so very true in so many ways.  Since my home life was so dysfunctional growing up my friends especially those that I was close to were such a safe haven.  I've been doing a lot of thinking about friendship(s) lately for a few different reasons.  One being the last post I did about Princess Bear's (PBs) biological father.  It always brings to mind my former best friend.  Jess & I were best friend's for 22 years before. 22 years before I just couldn't carry on with the friendship for the sake of what it had been.  That was several years ago (more than 5 if you really need a gauge). 

 One of the first things that she did that really, really didn't sit well with me and sat in the back of my head for a long time happened after PB's first major surgery.  At 7 1/2 months old PB had major reconstructive surgery on her skull.  We're talking about over 7 hours of surgery on a baby.  Her skull was opened from ear to ear.  I'm giving you this background not to gross you out or anything but to let you know how very serious this surgery was.  It didn't go without complications.  Her dura was ripped during the surgery.  (to find out what the dura is read HERE).  The first patch did not take.  Luckily since the surgery was so long they released the first patch wasn't ok and were able to fix it while she was still in surgery.  After that the first few days of recovery went relatively well, all things considered.  Then on the 4th day PB spiked a fever out of nowhere.  Well ok not out of nowhere when you think about what she'd been through.  It was just that she'd been doing well for a few days and each day that passes the risk for infection decreases a bit.  While PB was in surgery and recovery the main way I was keeping those who loved us appraised of the situation was by changing the outgoing message on my cell phone and trying to do an email update from her Caring Bridge site when I felt it was ok to leave her room for a few minutes.  At the point when PB started running her temp and not responding to the appropriate drugs and antibiotics very quickly 2 of my 3 best friends were going to make the drive up from Peoria.  We're talking a 3 hour drive just to they could spend a few minutes with us.  I was so touched but told them it really wasn't necessary.  I promised to keep them in the loop and they were ok with that too.  After 2 touch and go days PB was just dandy!  

What I found out after we got home from Chicago and the surgery is that Jessi and her best guy friend who was very close friends with PB's bio dad had tried contacting him to tell him what was going on with PB.  Now you have to understand that when things with PB's father and I fell about it did it quickly and completely.  There was no more friendship there and no desire to be in each others lives and he had no desire to be a parent to PB.  Can you imagine how completely horrified I was to learn that they were trying to bring him into the circle on what was happening with PB?  He hadn't been there for any of the previous hospital stays (and although she was only 7 1/2 months old there were previous hospital stays), he hadn't been there anytime she aspirated and scared the holy hell out of me, he hadn't been there any of the times her apena/heart monitor when off in the middle of the night scaring the hell out of me.  Yet, Jess and Chris somehow though he deserved to be privy to what was going on with her when things were really dicey.  REALLY????!!!!???   REALLY????!!!!???  Oh hell no!  First off all those rights were gone at his request.  Second of all if I really wanted him to know there were ways I could reach out to him.  So to say that I was incredibly angry that someone so close to me would consider doing something like that would be putting it mildly. 

 I do wonder if that was the beginning of the end of the friendship.  Through the next 6 years there were lots of other ups and downs and space between us before I'd finally had enough to make that break.  It still in ways breaks my heart because we had been so close for so long but on the flip side of it I know it was absolutely the right decision.  At the point where she wasn't accepting me and my choices much less being a good friend in so many other ways it was time for the friendship to dissolve.  I know without a doubt looking at how my life has changed and her life has changed since the end of our friendship that it would have happened anyway.  It's not like I can look at it and say "Damn I miss her and the friendship.  Maybe I should try to reconnect".  Rather it's "Damn I miss her friendship and those good times.  So I'll give thanks for those and know that the friendship fulfilled it's purpose and it was time for it to be done".  I can still hate that it happened but fully acknowledge that it had to happen. 

The most important thing I walked away with from the friendship ending was the knowledge of what I really need from the people in my life and those that I call friend.  It was a bitch of a lesson but what's the old saying?  If you learned from it, it was worth it? 

 Lesson learned.

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