The Gift

thegift

Last week someone who I used to work with contacted me and asked how I was doing and if I was well enough to meet her for lunch in NYC. Unfortunately the answer was no and I explained that the fatigue and pain still prevent me from taking public transportation into the city. She understood and at the end of her email she wrote, “Health is a precious gift.”

How true is that statement and it is not often that a healthy person realizes that.  My previous coworker is enlightened and gets that health is the most important thing of all.  How come none of my other friends realize that concept?

Yesterday I was speaking with my oldest friend (Ms. E).  We grew up together, were college roommates, our parents were best friends and we have seen each other through many of lives triumphs and tragedies.   I said my oldest friend and not my closest friend as our lives have taken very different paths and we really haven’t been all that close lately.  Since I’ve been ill, my friend hasn’t visited me once (except when we saw each other at 2 funerals).  She lives about 60 miles from me, so I understand that she can’t casually drop by for a few minutes, but it is a little hurtful that in 5 years she hasn’t been able to visit me.  We do talk and text, but sometimes you expect more from some people.

While we were speaking yesterday on the phone, the instant she said hello, I knew something was very wrong with her.  Her voice sounded weird, had no life, no spirit, no personality.  It sounded dead and depressed.  In the 40 years that I have known Ms. E, I never heard her sound like this before.  I asked a few times what was wrong and at first she said nothing is wrong, but before the end of the conversation she told me she is very depressed and is currently taking 3 different medicines, prescribed by her psychiatrist.

Now I was concerned because she sounded out of it and was driving alone on a highway.  She assured me she was alright to drive and that she’s just been very emotional lately and they haven’t figured out the right dosage of her medications yet.

That made me feel  somewhat better, but then my mind starting churning.  While I was very, very sad that my friend was in so much pain, I couldn’t help but wonder what could Ms. E be so depressed about that 3 medications were required?  She has been married for 25 years, has 4 healthy children, her and her husband are physically healthy, she lives in a beautiful house and is wealthy beyond my wildest dreams.

Here I am ill for the past 5 years,  divorced, no children, rent a one bedroom apartment and I’m not depressed.  I don’t get what people expect out of life.  Maybe I’m becoming cynical or hardened but what does it take for someone to realize that when they have their HEALTH, the greatest gift of all, they have everything they need.

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