The friends who helped me survive

Last year, as I battled serious illness and a big corrupt federal bank, some incredibly open and giving people helped me through it all. The illnesses had left an indelible fear of physical pain at the forefront of my consciousness, where once there was none. I found myself questioning the validity of virtually everything in my life. When I finally emerged from illness, healthy once again, I asked myself what did I believe in?

The answer was not an easy one because the things I had poured my energies into had largely abandoned me in my time of need. My health, my work, and my home all became endangered in one fell swoop. Then some unsavory, unethical corporations began attacking. (You can read about that if you like over on my branding blog in a post about personal branding.)

This post is a thank you of sorts to all of the people who helped me survive my medical crisis last year. I appreciate their kindness, compassion and encouragement more than I can possibly express.

A couple my clients left, as I guess could be expected (ironically, both were health professionals), but most of my clients stuck with me through it all. I show my appreciation for their loyalty at every opportunity.

The woman who sells the Real Change newspaper outside my local market provided the biggest turnaround in my outlook on life. We had waved hello for three years, but I had never actually met her. Then, one day as I passed by, my flailing health and resultant financial problems written all over my face, she asked me what had me so down. And so began a friendship that I treasure greatly. She openly shared her rich life wisdom, and we laughed together at the joys and absurdities of life. I also rediscovered the fight in me. She reminded me of my Great Aunt’s lesson: “There is not a person, place or thing worth your peace of mind.” Probably the most important thing I found while talking with her was my long lost laugh.

The woman who last April recognized the physical pain I was trying to mask, and recommended the herbal remedy that knocked the knees out from under the virus is someone with whom I now share a pain-related connection. We so appreciate being healthy.

Then there is Suzanne, a woman who attended a branding workshop I put on a couple of years ago. She has extensive experience with foreign dentists, plus she’s a great travel planner. Since I was travel-challenged, she patiently showed me the ropes of travel planning, told me all about her trips, hooked me up with the best dentist I have ever had, and basically held my nervous hand through the trips I took to prevent an impending recurrence of the second health issue. By the end of the second trip, I felt like a capable and happy traveler. She has become a much-appreciated friend for whom I feel occasionally compelled to buy bacon chocolate.

My mom showed an unending patience, and listened for months while I talked my way though the pain day in and day out. The more occupied I was, the faster the time passed, as I thought less about the pain. She even drove up and back 400 miles one day to take care of me. She’s a rockstar mom if ever there was one. My aunt, brother and cousins also checked in on me. I really have an awesome family.

My neighbors and friends gave me rides to the doctor when I was so drugged up on painkillers and other scary medications that I could barely hold myself upright. I stubbornly tried to walk home from one doctor appointment, intent on getting some much-missed exercise, but I felt faint and started stumbling after less than a mile. My friend Jerry dropped what he was doing and picked me up.

My old friend James Mucklestone paid me a visit one day, and actually handed me an unexpected check, which simply blew me away. I hope to repay him with some work now that I am back to full steam again.

My friend Sean called me on a regular basis to check in and make sure I kept enough of a fighting spirit to beat the illnesses.

One of the clients who pushed me towards the path of ruin (by stiffing me for a large sum of moola) stopped by one day to offer me some pain relieving pot. I do not partake of the doobage, so I declined, but I appreciated the gesture nonetheless.

One of my clients took time out of his day to whisk me up to the optometrist office when I needed glasses, after painkillers blurred my vision. Have I mentioned how much my clients rock?

For the first time ever, I felt what some people would call ‘blessed’ to have survived the most physically painful year of my life. In moments when I wonder how I made it through, I think of these people, their efforts, their giving nature, and our friendship.

Every person has the choice of being good or bad, of being underhanded or fighting the good fight. I feel lucky and yes, blessed, to have so many good people in my cheering section.

Kelly Hobkirk - teaching marketers how to harness strategy, goals, reality, and purpose to connect and do better work.


Kelly Hobkirk has been helping companies succeed in creative ways for nearly 25 years. His work has been featured in Time Magazine, and books by Rockport and Rotovision. Get exclusive articles when you sign up for his monthly newsletter.

Thank you! This is going to feel good.

1 comment Write a comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *