This weekend, one of my closest friends had a heart attack. He spent most of the day Tuesday in surgery. On Wednesday, soon before I sat down to type this, he started breathing on his own again. The surgery went well, I think.
I am so relieved and grateful.
I originally became friends with Ferrett because of this blog, and in fact, he is the single person who has had the most influence on it. I came up with the idea of the Backbone Project because of his blogging advice, and in characteristic Ferrett fashion, he threw himself behind my idea with enthusiasm and support. And so we became friends.
Over time, we became better friends. And he was the first one who was there when life began to crumble apart. He was the one I could show the cracks and imperfections, the confusion and the doubt. He understood what I was trying to do, and he believed in my ability to do it, even when I couldn’t believe in it myself.
We were talking about what to do when we falter on Tuesday. If you’re lucky enough, having a friend who believes in you with all his heart can be a powerful thing indeed. And Ferrett has one of the biggest and most generous hearts of anyone I’ve met.
He’s also taught me what it means to be a friend. In a healthy, supportive, and non-people pleaser kind of way.
Through these last few days, when I’ve been mentally in a hospital in Cleveland even though I couldn’t be there physically, I’ve been reminded quite strongly of what’s important to me. I’m always big on priorities, of course, but there’s nothing like a life-or-death kind of event to give you a little extra kick and provide some perspective.
I’m in a liminal space right now, and I don’t like it. I mean, it has its advantages and interesting parts, and it is completely necessary, but it’s a hard place for me to stay for an extended period of time. But I realize that even in this space, I can and am focusing on the things that matter to me: the people I care about (and one very adorable little dog); my writing and creative work; maintaining and improving myself (physically, mentally, and emotionally); experiencing joy and wonder in the world around me.
Sometimes I feel like I don’t know what I want. But that is not actually true at all. I know exactly what I want. I just don’t always know the form it will take or the balance it will require.
Ferrett wrote a post for his blog the day before his surgery. He said: “There is a small chance that these will be the last words I ever write on this blog. And if they are… let them be thanks and love.”
It doesn’t look like those will be his last words on the blog, thank goodness. But if they had been, they would have been very fine last words indeed.