I get by with a little help from my friends
I never was a big fan of the Beatles until a friend who loved music of all genres posted some of their tunes on my Facebook page. Anytime I hear their songs now, I think of Robert. He’s probably smiling if he’s reading this over my shoulder, knowing my musical interests are few.
Makes me smile to think of him standing there.
One particular song by the Fab Four has been playing on my mental jukebox the past few days because it’s been so true: “Oh, I get by with a little help from my friends/I get high with a little help from my friends/I’m gonna try with a little help from my friends.”
In today’s Sunday Life, you’re not going to see my byline anywhere.
In the almost six years I’ve been editor of this section, this will be the first time ever that I didn’t have a feature written.
But you know what, although it’s a sting to my pride, the world’s not going to end.
Instead, I’m getting by with a little help from my friends.
Check out the features written by Jennie Bounds and Josh West from Blount Memorial Hospital’s Marketing and PR department, and Stephanie Edwards, with Child & Family Tennessee.
With community photos and our regular columnists, the inestimable Amanda Greever and Megan Rapien, we’ll still have primarily local content.
The reason for reaching out to friends to take up the slack this week is that I am recovering from what I am calling “The Crud.” Capital letters.
Major pain in the head, neck, back, shoulders, chest. Perhaps other places, too, but I’ll leave that to your imagination. ... All I can say about “The Crud” is that most of this week has been spent drinking hot tea and eating chicken soup and trying to stay upright and awake long enough to do so.
Other friends have been just as supportive. They send emails and Facebook messages or call asking how I’m doing, offer prayers on my behalf, and several have offered to run errands or do whatever I need.
I appreciate them all so much, especially when I know several have health conditions much more serious, much more debilitating and much more permanent than my temporary ailments. Each of them is a treasure. I couldn’t get by without them.
We should probably clarify part of the song lyrics above. The only “getting high” my friends and I do is driving up the mountains and enjoying scenery and each other’s company — although there was a little bit of wine involved when we stayed at a cabin during a weekend excursion recently.
Just a little bit. No livers were harmed during this girls’ night out, I promise.
Friends keep me trying, too. They push me to go beyond my fears, encourage me to get out of the house, tell me I “can” when everything in my being says, “No, I can’t.” They tell me with all honesty and love when they see I’m making a mistake, when to keep on persevering and when to let go of one dream to pursue a better one. Even if they know I’ll resist, they force me to see the way it is rather than the way I want it to be. And they never give up on me, even when I give up on myself.
That’s the true meaning of friendship — safety in being transparent with each other, knowing the truth is spoken in love, knowing that there is no obstacle impossible to face as long as we stick together.
Perhaps being sick has made me too introspective, but having these folks to depend on in addition to my sisters and children is a cause for thankfulness. I just want them all to know how much they mean to me.
May everyone reading this be as well-blessed.
Linda Albert is Sunday Life editor and a staff writer for The Daily Times. Her column runs every Sunday in the Life section. You may contact her at 981-1168 or (firstname.lastname@example.org)