I have a friend who's a wonderful person

I have a friend who’s a wonderful person. She’s very ill with incurable cancer (it’s her third), type one diabetes, 3 heart attacks so far, arthritis, lots of pain and takes 30 pills a day to keep herself going. She’s often confined to bed but still gets out when she can, hobbling along her road with a stick. She lives in a poor district in London and knows everyone at the chemist and many people in the area. She helps people too, talking to them on the phone and befriending other patients on her frequent hospital visits. I think she knows nearly all the staff at the hospital because she’s been in so many departments. We joke together that she’s aiming to break The Guinness Book of Records for the largest medical file in history, requiring a wheelbarrow to shift it. When you’re with her, she laughs a lot then swears quietly at the pain. She tells me that in the night, when the pain’s worst, she shouts and cries, but she seems to have a way of shrugging it off or living through it. And she keeps herself busy, reading magazines, texting, watching TV, talking to visitors, doing quizzes and crosswords and wordsearches – her double bed is covered with them. She’s on morphine and she’s had pain for years, but she tells great stories about her childhood or humorous incidents she’s seen out the window. I tell her she’s an inspiration to others, and me.

Hi Oxy,

Your friend seems to be a lovely lady. Isn't it amazing how some can be so congenial even though they are in unspeakable pain? You are very lucky to have met her, it's people like her who inspire us to 'keep calm, and carry on". Isn't that what my British friends say?

Hope the book is coming along nicely,


Thank you SK! Yes, she's great. I was talking to her last night on the phone and we were swopping stories. People fascinate her.

I don't know about 'keep calm and carry on' - it's what we Brits say but it's a joke about the royals. At least for some of us the phrase is a satirical comment on the stiff upper lip Brit type. You know the British captains in the 18th/19th century who went down with their ships - when they could have taken to the boats. But being phlegmatic is good, as well. Keeping some distance, a certain detachment. irony - that's one type of Britishness. It can help when you're in pain, so (unlike the captains) you don't go under!

My novels are going very, very slowly. As you know having a neuro-condition makes everything much harder. But 'nil desperandum'.

Oxy, your friend reminds me of a lot of moderators I happen to know. :) It is amazing how optimistic and resilient people can be under tough conditions. In addition to "Keep Calm and Carry On," we Americans have the saying, "When the going gets tough, the tough get going." Then, of course, there is always ad astra per aspera...

We seem to be into Latin quotes. Carpe diem is the one I'm following at the moment. That means, when I feel up to it I work on my novels. I always found it hard going so all that's happening now is it's the same, but more so!

Aut viam inveniam aut faciam.

Oxytosin Thank you for bringing this to our attention;

Inspiration comes in so many ways! It's surprising to me how often those who are suffering the most seem to help others, when they have less means. I have found in observation, and experiencing through my own disease and difficulty it does seem to help to reach out to others and look for someone who might need encouragement and support! That is so much ,why,we in this group are able to help others with our experiences if we are willing to share! It lightens our load a little to focus on others a bit and maybe gives us more purpose in doing so.

Dropping a note, making a phone call, a smile, or sharing a joke can all be ways to help others. we all need to feel significant, and this helps us to feel needed as well as the person feeling special by your focus.

When you are able, and sometimes when you feel you are not, find a way to give to just one person and see what happens. Especially during this Holiday season, many are needing an unexpected visitor or phone call or card in the mail; Some are extremely lonely this time of year and you might be the bright star in the day! Win Win!!

These are three quotes I have as my signature b/c it helps me be reminded, I still have value to others.


"A friend is someone who knows the song in your heart and can sing it back to you when you have forgotten the words"

"Nobody can make you feel inferior without your permission." -Eleanor Roosevelt


What a post! CM you're a darling. Helen Keller is a great inspiration. Also Frida Kahlo. To give is to receive.