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When I awakened this morning, I recalled a friend from church sharing her back exercises with me months and months ago. I’m not sure if it was a dream I’d caught by the tail or a piece of a memory.

But friends do that. They help each other.

Today I made a pot of coffee and worked on a poem. The poem is still raw, but it has potential. I did this with dishes staring me in the face. So much order needs to happen in this house, and I write a poem.

A sciatic nerve has slowed my world down for a week. No interest in housework. No interest in cooking. I just want the pain to go away in the lower back and leg.

Hard to believe, but Ibuprofen does not touch it.

While I’m in the midst of trying to figure out what to do first, my husband says, “Let’s go see neighbors.” Hey, he’s my husband, he smiles broadly, and I hate telling him no. Whenever I say, “Let’s go…,” he’s jackrabbit-ready, no matter how bad my timing may be.

So off we go.

Great visit. The couple is remodeling and repainting. Everything, in process. Impressive. But even more happens here.

The woman asks if she can bring us some cabbage later. Normally we’d happily receive an offer of food. Not tonight. My husband is looking forward to cabbage steaks, barbeque, and potatoes. The pressure for me to cook is “on.”

Friends offer what they have.

While there, I mention the big struggle I’ve had with a sciatic nerve.

The man is quick to share, telling about his sciatica experience and how he finally found exercises to help him with his sciatic nerve. I am stock-still and paying attention with eyes and ears, trying to memorize every word he’s saying. We leave, and I determine to look up exercises for sciatic nerve on the computer.

What happened? I shared I had the problem. He then shared what had happened to him. Same nerve in the body. It helped me. I was not alone. He understood my pain level and how hard it is to get relief.

I usually think I know a little of what’s going on, but it occurs to me today that I really don’t. Always something more to learn. Sciatic nerve, for one thing.

No wonder I keep being blindsided. No wonder I feel like angels can’t take a break if they’ve been assigned to me.

Today I really needed to hear about exercises that help people with sciatica troubles. My teacher was placed right in front of me. I could never have orchestrated that timing, that sharing.

I am still moon-eyed about it.

First, the memory of a woman who’d once shared her back exercises with me. Now, another friend, sharing similar information.

Amazing. God is so patient with me.

This week I also came across a post on Facebook of a painting by P.K. Hallinan. I loved it right away and Shared it. It’s the cover of P.K.’s children’s book, Let’s Be Friends.

Friends help me by just being in my life.

I often forget to thank them, though. P.K.’s caption under the painting on Facebook was “Friends are antidepressants.” That makes me smile. And oh, so true. (By the way, P.K. Halliman gave me his blessing and permission to use the photo in my blog. Goodness.)

When I have problems or feelings and need to talk, I know I can call a friend. I am not alone. I may feel alone, but I’m not alone. There are people who will listen and understand.

No matter where I’ve lived or my circumstances, I’ve had a few friends. Their presence has helped me “get by” in a world of uncertainty.

I remember hesitating about a move we made 20 years ago. The hardest part was leaving my friends behind. Not my house, not my job, but my friends.

Making new friends takes time. We have to build up a trust level. It’s risk and trust and risk again until we are on solid footing. It takes time.

I think I am living my life in circles, discovering more and more as I forget and find my way again. Friends. They help me do this circle dance.

God bless,

Pat Durmon

P.S. Comment, Share, Pray. It’s all good.

“Let’s Be Friends” is a painting and cover of a children’s book by P.K. Hallinan, 2006.

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