I don’t know why it was so easy to form a friendship with my caregiver friend. If I knew what made it easy, I would look for other people with those qualities.
What I do know is this: He is easy to talk to. He doesn’t seem to be offended by my need for alone time (he needs his alone time, too.) He gets my jokes, or at least laughs at the right places. He eats my cooking without complaining and doesn’t think I should wait on him. He expects me to have opinions and doesn’t expect those opinions to be the same as his. He makes me feel like ‘me’…not somebody’s mother, daughter or anything else. Just ‘me.’
My friend is not perfect, but he is authentic. (On the rare occasion that he’s tried to be cagey – well, let’s just say that he has an obvious – obvious to me anyway – tell.)
He has great taste in music and likes to sing along and dance… I’m not saying he’s REALLY good – I am saying he REALLY enjoys it, and that makes those around him enjoy it, too.
My friend is genuinely and rather innocently affectionate, not fresh or grabby. (He would call that ‘frisky.’)
While having a companion on a caregiver journey is helpful, having a companion who is no longer following that same path, who is changing directions, makes it hard to stay close. I expect we will see each other less, communicate less, and continue to move farther apart. This friendship will just fade away. There will be no animosity and no regrets. Hearing my friend’s name, will always make me smile.*
*(I’m hearing Hello, Old Friend, by Eric Clapton in my head…“when he tipped his hat, I knew his name……” )