After sustaining a severe injury from a motorcycle accident in September 2010, I learned what great friends can do. I was unable to walk or even stand without assistance for several weeks. This condition threatened to truly cramp my proverbial style.
But, literally the moment I arrived home from John Peter Smith Hospital, dinner was ready. Friends cooked, shopped, ran errands, took care of our animals, and washed my hair in the kitchen sink. One offered to clean my house, a deal I should have accepted, by the way. After riding home from the hospital in a friend’s nice car, I asked her to take me to Fort Worth the next week so I wouldn’t have to crawl out of my husband’s pickup. Another friend constructed a ramp to replace the non-ADA-compliant steps to our back porch. Other friends hung back a bit, waiting for the initial frenzy of activity to settle. Then they jumped in, visiting and bringing more food and even Hot Tamales candy. To say we were well cared for is an understatement.
One week prior to the accident, 60 friends helped me celebrate the release of my book, Ridin’ Around. After the accident, most all those same friends called, visited and assisted however possible. One special gal who has terminal cancer stood next to my hospital bed in tears. Elaine wasn’t supposed to be laying there. Another brought me socks because she knew my feet are always cold—just ask Glenn. All seven of the ladies riding with us that day followed the ambulance from Parker County to JPS in downtown Fort Worth to be with me. Each of them visited again in the following days. These friends, with whom we laughed and partied in the days prior to the accident, responded to our needs with helping hands and compassionate hearts.
2010 is now a distant memory, my bones are pretty well healed and there’s a big hospital bill awaiting payment. The downturn of the economy has hit us hard, fuel prices are outrageous and occasionally the financial ends do not meet. But strangely, I identify with George Bailey in “It’s A Wonderful Life.” Clarence Oddbody’s inscription in Tom Sawyer stated: “No man is a failure who has friends.”
We are fortunate to live in a community where we can maintain such friendships. I’m not just talking about Erath County. Our community is the whole world. With today’s technology, there’s no excuse not keeping up with friends. If you cannot go out for lunch with your friend — call him. If she is on your friend list on FaceBook — pop a quick message to say “Hey.” Mail an old fashioned card stating, “I’m thinking of you.” Point is: contact them. Find and keep those special friends because if you don’t, they won’t know for sure you care. I am proud to say Glenn and I accomplished this. Good thing, because our friends really came through for us when we needed it most.