Friday, February 26, 2010

Can I Help You?

This past week has been one with a lot of contemplating behind it.

One week ago today I found out that an old friend of mine had been in a tragic car accident and died. It has really had me thinking about friendships and mortality and the richness of life.

Sean and I both met this particular friend in about 1996 after he moved to my hometown from Oklahoma. Damn, Okies! (pardon the language, but if you're from Texas, you should understand the joke! Especially if you're from a part of Texas that is near OK.) Our entire circle of friends were really close hanging out with each other everyday. A few of us ended up coupling up and, in my case, even getting married.

After a while, Sean and I moved to the DFW area in order to give ourselves and our daughter better opportunities in life. Nothing against C-town, but we felt we could give her more being in the big city.

This friend ended up moving in with us eventually and would for the next 4 or 5 years off and on. He was really more like family. When we went on family outings to the zoo, he went with us. When we went out to dinner, he went with us.

He was a part of the family.

He, like many of our friends at the time, had a penchant for drugs and alcohol. I admit that I am not excluding Sean and myself on that. All of us had our vices. This friend of ours was one that got into a lot of legal trouble for drugs and alcohol, though. We would try to help him out as much as possible being that we were trying to straighten our lives up and raise a family.

He eventually had a daughter which made it that much harder for us not to help our friend.

Helping him out is what became the end of our communication with him.

After jumping a bail that Sean had taken responsibility for; we felt taken advantage of. We had two small children and were in no financial position to be paying for his mistakes. We were hurt that our brother would do that to us.

Jump ahead a few years later and here we are. Sean and I have continued do what we could to better our lives and found God again.

One day I get a friend request on Facebook. I always get nervous when I see a friend request because there is just no telling who it could be and there are people from my past that I just assume forget I once knew.

Then I saw it was him. I hesitated for a split second then hit approve.

I wish I had taken the time to write him a little note, though. I never did. I never told him that we forgive him for what happened in the past. 

The hardest part was watching his mom mourn the loss of her oldest son. Her sidekick as she called him.

This loss has brought other issues into perspective for me. It has also made me question some of those issues.

Sean and I have not seen many of the friends that we once hung out with when we lived in C-town. Some of them are still partying it up like they are 21. They're still doing drugs and getting drunk. Some of them have had their children taken from them due to their irresponsibility and refusal to grow up themselves. Some have been to rehab. Others have been to prison. Some still are. I hate that for my friends! I have known many of these people since before we were born. Our parents grew up together for crying out loud!

There are a few that we have kept in contact with and hang out with when we visit. This trip we saw a few more due to the funeral that we don't normally visit with. Some have cleaned their lives up. Some have not. Some tell me through the computer that they are cleaning themselves up but then I hear different when I'm in town.  Some of those people, one in particular, hurt me by not being the friend to me back then that she claimed to be.
My big issue now is whether I should worry about visiting these people when I go to C-town? Losing our friend has definitely made me realize that I can no longer take friendships for granted. No one is promised forever, let alone tomorrow.

I don't know if seeing my old friends will be detrimental to me.

To my children.

Should I put forth the effort to see them?

Should I continue to disassociate myself with people that don't hold the same values that I do?

Should I even continue to think of them as friends?

I'm not real sure of what to do. I sort of feel that I should visit with them and tell them how I am praying for them. How I pray for them to get their life together and be truly happy. I don't think a person who continues to abuse drugs and alcohol is happy with their self.  I have been there and I know that for a fact I was not really happy. It seems fun at the time to get high and be able to clean the entire house in an hour. It seems fun to drink until you can't remember what is happening and going home with a different guy. Better yet, going home with your friend's boyfriend. Yeah, that is the type of stuff that was going on when I was younger. That is the type of stuff some of my old friends are still doing. 

I suppose it's all just life. I can't change anyone, but I can pray for them to change themselves.



Dee said...

I don't believe that we are supposed to hide our faith fromm those we love. You will need to be careful to not fall into old habits by associating with them. But you do have an opportunity to emotionally and even spiritually reach out to them. Pray about it. Give it to God. He knows best and He's not into keeping Himself a secret from those who look for Him. :)
Take care!

Cop Mama said...

Thanks for being so open and honest.

For me, I have some people that I have distanced myself from because they are not healthy for me or my children to be around. They have made their choices and for that reason, I don't feel any obligation to be around them. I've prayed about this and feel in my heart this is what God would have me do. Hope that helps, my friend :-)