Last week, all hell let loose with the collapse of Thomas Cook airways. I woke up to the news all over the television, with advice on what to do if you were involved in one of their holidays. My mind wandered to our latest holiday in Cyprus, the ease in which I booked it, the old friends we met and new friends we made whilst we were there and thankfully how lucky we were not to have gotten caught up in it all.
On that Monday morning, I had a text and then a phone call from my daughter whose holiday was affected by the collapse. She was beside herself having now lost her holiday. Having planned it, researched it, booked it and paid for it in instalments, understandably she was devastated by this loss; it was to celebrate her 30th birthday and she really was looking forward to celebrating her ‘big’ birthday with her best friend.
After what seemed like ages trying to find a new holiday online, failing miserably because all the websites were down, trying to ring, failing miserably again because so many people were doing the same and with the queues in the travel agents enormous, she admitted to me that she was really struggling with this; she was on her own in work, trying to sort it out with nobody around to help.
Having people around you who can call in an emergency or just when you’re feeling down, fed up or just fancy a chat is so important to us all as human beings, but more important maybe, as disabled people where our opportunities to get out and socialise or get somewhere in an emergency is often compromised.
So what makes a friend?
Friends are funny things; you spend time with them, laugh, work, celebrate but after a time you see that people you think are friends are merely acquaintances, colleagues or people passing through your life.
But sometimes there are people who genuinely care for you and whilst they might not be close in distance, they’re close in other ways.
It may be just a text or a WhatsApp message, a comment on a photo on Facebook or just something that makes you smile knowing that this is an experience that you have shared with somebody else.
A ‘friend‘ is defined in the dictionary as “a person with whom one has a bond of mutual affection”
And what is a “bond“….? Well, that is defined as “a force or feeling that unites people; a shared emotion or interest“.
When once I thought I had loads of ‘friends‘, now I realise exactly who I have a ‘bond‘ with; a bond born of adversity, of support, of shared experiences and of just sheer love.
I now realise that I do have some wonderful friends; I have the friend who always checks the wheelchair access before arranging a girly get-together (and more importantly always includes me!), the friend who picks me up and takes me to book club on a rainy day, the friend who chauffeurs me to and from the airport and last time helped my darling P to pick up my new heavy wheelchair, my ‘new‘ friends I’ve gained from my holidays, wonderful people who really understand me and the gang of friends who have stayed loyal and supportive throughout the last few turbulent years.
These are the people with whom I have a ‘bond‘ – not a thousand people but a precious few and they are enough for me…… 💕
(ps. my daughter is currently soaking up the sun so she’s happy too!)