Reach Out While You Still Can

I reconnected with one of Drew’s (my youngest son) cohort from Ryerson through a video chat on Monday. Let’s call him Bud. Those are moments of joy for me. It is no secret that I value having friendships with young people. This has been a theme throughout my life and I plan to continue to keep this relationships active as much as possible going forward.

Those of us officially in our “Golden Years” have both a lot to learn and a lot to offer in a friendship with a young person. For me it is a way to enrich my daily existence. It can prove inspirational and motivational. You help me understand the challenges you face which are vastly different that during my younger years and I have the advantage of experience to share and hopefully the wisdom to offer my experience as something for you to consider while leaving all the decisions of where my experience might fit up to you.

During the video chat on Monday, Bud mentioned how much he planned to reach out in the early days when I shared my upcoming battle with cancer. He was both upset and embarrassed he had not and with each passing day it became increasingly more difficult.

I was surprised to hear this sentiment and wondered how frequently others find themselves in the same pickle. It seemed a suitable subject to write about.

For me, and I think anyone living with a life-threatening disease, we all know we have a limited shelf life. The clock is counting down more quickly than we care to admit. With that said, reconnecting with friends from years and/or decades gone by is source of comfort and a welcomed moment.

I appreciate that some people find it difficult to talk about disease and death. Not to worry, I have plenty to talk about and you can expect me to carry any conversation in the beginning. It is almost a guarantee that it will be lopsided but this is mostly as an ice-breaker. You may need to jog my memory on how and why we are connected. Not to worry, that can be a source of entertainment. Regardless, hearing from voices, which are a past memory, is a source of joy.

Ironically, I just started reading a Jack Ryan novel which begins with him connecting with a long-lost friend from his time in university. It starts with a focus in how embarrassed he is that he allowed this relationship to fade into the background.

I think the author has it right. When people reconnect after a long time absence, the divide disappears quickly. That happened with a high school friend of mine last summer. It was hard to believe our previous encounter was decades in the past. The memories were like yesterday but what is more important, hearing about what they he has been doing to fill in the gap between then and now was invigorating. Everyone has an important story to tell.

So if you know someone you would like to reach out to, especially if you know they are up against a countdown timer, I am confident, if you initiate a conversation, it will be like a weight is lifted for both you. You will brighten your friend’s day.

Reach Out While You Still Can; if you wish to connect with me, my voice/text mobile number is (902) 497-6056 and one of my many email addresses is phil@philohara.ca

Reconnecting with past friends is proving to be moments of pure joy!

Thank for taking the time to wander through my ramblings. I encourage you to share my blog address with anyone you think might benefit from what I write. Facing a life-threatening disease is a terrifying emotional space and knowing you are not alone can be a source of comfort.

As always, it warms my heart to have you as a Support Pillar in my life. I continue to feel blessed to be circled by a loving family and caring collection of friends. I thank God for holding my hand during this time.

I feel safe.

Peace, Love, and Laughter
Phil

4 Replies to “Reach Out While You Still Can”

  1. Phil- you are indeed in good hands with all your family and friends and the Lord surrounding you in your needs!We have found the same in our struggles- people find it awkward but you always remember and appreciate those who reach out!Basically everything has to be acknowledged before you can deal with it..Just stay positive and keep moving forward for the time we have- our motto too!Really enjoy your blog as it speaks to us in a wonderful way.
    Blessings🙏🌞🙏

  2. Hey phil,
    You are absolutely right! I lost a colleague of 25 yrs last week to the same battle you are fighting. I tell you, not to offer some bleak confirmation of the facts you already know, but to echo your message and sentiments!

    The last time I saw him was last oct on cold windy day, it was his last day with an employer of 16 yrs.. so I took him golfing in Chester, we managed the round in a cart, we had beverages, many laughs, he out drove me on a few occasions, we had a nice dinner afterwards and when he dropped me off and watched him drive away those feelings of will this be the last time I ever see you crept into my brain.

    Well it was, we txt a few times since but the last being in December. I thought he looked good when we were golfing!

    Lots of our mutual friends had asked me how he was doing, each time I was goi g to txt him but didn’t. He died last Wednesday. I had txt him on Thursday morning too late… then a friend txt me literally 4 min after my txt… they said” hey have you heard the news”

    So Phil, That was a wake up call for me, don’t take time for granted!

    Happy Easter to you and your lovely family my friend talked to you this weekend !!

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