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I just received a belated birthday card in the mail from the mother of a former friend.

Some time ago I blogged about the 'break up' of this friendship, and how I'd had to get over 'being dumped' by someone who claimed to love me like a sister. With no explanation, my calls and emails and snail mail were ignored. In the end, I resolved myself to the fact that whatever purpose we'd been meant to serve in each other's lives had come to an end, and I moved on.

After about 6 months of no contact, this former friend resurfaced with a casual email that basically said “Hey! I lost your phone number. I’m getting married this weekend and we‘re going to Vegas for our honeymoon. Call me!” No explanation for the absence of contact for the months preceding, nothing. I did not respond to her email, and other than the standard forwarded email messages that I still receive from her, we have not communicated.

So, fast forward to today when I received the birthday card from her mother. Inside the card was a hand-written note that apologized for having mailed the card late, and explained that there has been a lot going on that had just gotten in the way. Namely, the fact that her daughter, my former friend, was recently diagnosed with kidney cancer. She is having her kidney removed this Friday at MD Anderson hospital in Houston.

Nothing was asked of me other than to forgive the lateness of the birthday card, which is a no-brainer. I was not asked to pray for their situation, or to hope for the best, or to even get in contact with them.

To be completely honest, I don’t know that I could handle stepping into the situation at this point. I don’t believe (at least right now, within an hour of having read the card) that I am motivated enough to pick up the phone and see if there is anything I can do. I know for a fact that I could not just push aside the hurt and anger that this person’s treatment of me caused, even though I know that’s probably the right thing to do.

Basically, I have no idea what in the hell I’m supposed to do in this situation. I want to do the right thing, but the self-defense mechanisms that I’ve had to establish over the years (not just in this friendship, but in life in general) are telling me to protect me first. Quite frankly, I just don’t know that I have anything to offer her anymore.

I’m open to discussion and thoughts (even if you think I’m being callous and hard-hearted) on how a situation like this would would effect you, and what you would do (if anything).


Feathermaye, Your links have been removed, please consider upgrading to premium membership.



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Member Comments

    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Vikki Hall wrote Aug 17, 2009
    • I think I too would have a hard time getting over the hurt feelings.  

      So what I would suggest is that you send a card to your friend and one to her mother... both saying that your thoughts/prayers are with them as they go thru this time..... yada yada yada.....

      And then pray (or your thing) for them.

      It’s up to them at this point. You did what you could.
      There are much wiser women on here than me so I am sure you will get some real pearls of wisdom.

      In the meantime don’t beat yourself up for being human with feelings.



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      UK Girl wrote Aug 17, 2009
    • No you're not callous honey at all – what a blind side of the referee this must have been.
      I don't know what to say but I have the strong feeling if you do phone, email or write then you'll be sucked into something and then dumped again ......



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Robinesque wrote Aug 17, 2009
    • I’d go pay her a surprise visit, knowing that since she reached out this far, she’d really love seeing me!  I mean, she did “love you like a sister” at one time.

      Awww, go on and go see her!  If you can.  One day you may regret it.  (Don’t mean to lay on the guilt).



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Tamra wrote Aug 17, 2009
    • I think you are very healthy to honor your boundaries and proceed cautiously.  But as Robinesque pointed out, you don’t want to be guilt-ridden later.  So I would be involved, but only at arm’s length until I had something more meaningful to go on.  I agree with Vikky, send a card and say you’ll pray for them if you are a religious person.  Then wait for an update/response from them.

      I am going through something similar.  It hurts deeply when someone you thought was a close friend forgets you.  A mutual friend died last week, and someone I thought cared about me hasn’t called me yet to mourn with me.  She has been avoiding my previous communications with her, but I really thought this event would cause her to respond.  Guess I’ll run into her at the funeral tomorrow.  But I know I won’t be comforted much by her presence.  Oh well, live and learn...

      Wishing the best for you, and your friend.  MDA is certainly where I’d go if it were me.



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Feathermaye wrote Aug 17, 2009
    • I surely appreciate all the input I’ve received in the comments here, as well as on Facebook and in chat.  

      I’ve decided to respond to the birthday card with a card and note of my own, offering my best wishes for a swift recovery. As time passes and I can come to terms with the emotions this has stirred (not just the lingering ones, but the fear that my old friend and her family must be feeling), I’m sure my next step will be clearer to me.

      Thanks so much for your support and encouragement, regardless of which side of the fence you may be on!



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Laurie Zieber wrote Aug 17, 2009
    • Feathermaye- I think what you decided to do is perfect!



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Karyn Olson wrote Aug 17, 2009
    • Personally I would forgive and forget...I have learned through the years that it takes so much more energy holding on to stuff than it is to let go...Why would I put myself through that?  That does not mean you have to take up the friendship again...A nice card wishing her well would suffice...if something comes out of that...that is good thing...if not...you did your best and perhaps there will be some finality to this...(is finality a word??)



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Cynthia Schmidt wrote Aug 17, 2009
    • I was about to toss in my two cents and it was exactly what you have decided to do. Give yourself a little closure, put the ball back in her court and then accept whatever the outcome.

      Best to you, Heather



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Lazylola wrote Aug 17, 2009
    • I’m late chiming in, but looks like all these great ladies shared some wonderful advice. I’m in a similar situation and plan on taking some of this advice given to you and applying it to my situation.



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Coachmombabe wrote Aug 17, 2009
    • Feathermaye, you are a wise woman!



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Feathermaye wrote Aug 17, 2009
    • Thanks, Cindy, but I don’t feel very wise right now.  

      My heart is telling me that returning the communication is the right thing to do, but my head and gut are telling me to be cautious.

      I guess there is a certain amount of wisdom to be had in listening to your instincts, but I feel that no matter which route I choose, later I’ll wonder why I didn’t go the other direction.

      We shall see!



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Marilyn09 wrote Aug 17, 2009
    • I am wondering if she is thinking along the same lines as you.  Maybe she can feel that its not the same too.

      For the mom to send you a note might mean that they talked and your presence is missed and they dont know why or what happened either.

      I dont know fersher what I would do but with the info so far I would prolly call the mom and check out the situation.



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Coachmombabe wrote Aug 17, 2009
    • Heather, if you do it without the expectations of rekindling a relationship, then you have nothing to lose. I have found that for myself, it’s much easier in the long run to respond in love without expecting anything in return. Send it, then release it.



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Mztracy wrote Aug 17, 2009
    • not sure what all have written as my eyes cannot focus much on reading all of them.

      So...

      No you are not callous at all. I understand the feelings of hurt you felt/feel.

      So, here goes.....
      No matter what, if she should take a bad turn and something happen to her, how will you feel?  

      For me, I would probably bite the bullet, call the hospital where she is and let her know I am praying for her. Then, the ball would be in her court.

      She may have asked her mom to do this as well, knowing how angry you may be. She may also want to tell you something in case of a bad outcome. Now these are all speculations on my part, but...

      No matter your choice, I’m here if you need!
      xx



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Feathermaye wrote Aug 18, 2009
    • In today’s mail I am sending a card with my well wishes and a request to keep me posted on her recovery. Whether the communication comes from Lisa directly, or through her mom, I would like to know how it all comes out.

      Thanks so much for all of your input through this. The varying perspectives have helped me to realize that my confusion and mixed emotions are normal, and that was the biggest part of my problem in deciding what to do.



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Faye43 wrote Aug 29, 2009
    • Feathermaye, I can tell by this blog you are a very loving caring lady. If it were me I would make myself accessible to them in their time of need. That way no matter what happens you can rest assured with peace in your soul, you did everything you could.



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Feathermaye wrote Dec 27, 2009
    • It’s been a while since I’ve been back to this blog, but I wanted to give a bit of an update.

      Lisa (the former friend) called recently to let us know that her grandfather had died. During the conversation we mended our fences a bit, and agreed to move forward with whatever was meant to be.

      Since then, we’ve gone to dinner at her house and met (and liked!) her new husband. Lisa revealed that in her excitement over having found true love, she neglected many relationships and was working hard to correct the damage done. I shared with her how hurt I was, and how after several weeks of trying I just gave up. This made her very sad, and we cried a bit together.

      Her life is not the toxic draw on her and those around her as it once was. The removal of her kidney was the extent of treatment for the cancer that was found and she’s been given a clean bill of health. Her husband is truly the love of her life, and it’s so refreshing to see her happy and cared for.

      While we‘re not yet as close as we once were (and may never be? who knows), I am grateful to have her back in my life for the unique spice she adds.  

      Thanks again for all the support and advice y‘all gave to me on this blog, and in private. Y‘all are simply FABULOUS.



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Coachmombabe wrote Dec 27, 2009
    • estatic What a good feeling! So glad to hear happy endings...or maybe happy new beginnings? you‘re a good friend, heather!



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Mztracy wrote Dec 27, 2009
    • I like ‘happy new beginnings’ Cindy!
      Heather glad to hear the update!
      x0



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Karyn Olson wrote Dec 28, 2009
    • So glad to hear it worked out...happy



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Marilyn09 wrote Dec 28, 2009
    • That is so cool... I am glad that you updated this.



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