Writing

Day 7 – Reach Out

I’m supposed to be blogging about my book this month. It’s an author blog challenge. We’re exploring ideas about marketing, expanding reaching, and finding new people with which to share our works.

Today, I couldn’t care less.

Today I care about reaching the people who I already know.

I’ve often sat and pondered the wide-cast web of friends who I hold dear in my heart. I’m very much my grandfather’s granddaughter… I inherited that gypsy spirit… and I’ve made my rounds. Living in different states. Meeting lots and lots and lots of folks. Letting each corner of my life etch its way into my heart.

I tend to keep people… even when I don’t see them often… I love people fiercely, and I don’t let go.

But I suck at actually keeping up with everyone. I hate talking on the phone. Email seems lame. I text and Facebook chat. But there are friends who live across Phoenix who I haven’t seen in years.

Today I’m really questioning why.

When I found out a few weeks ago that an old friend was battling cancer again, I immediately donated to her GoFundMe. Then I hovered over the Facebook messenger thinking, “I should say something.” I had no idea where to even begin.

I vividly remember her celebratory dinner half-way through her first bout with cancer several years ago. We all went out to Durant’s and celebrated her turning-point toward being a survivor.

I remember hanging out at countless music festivals, gigs and events all over the state, sitting in green rooms or outside on benches, just chatting easily in the afternoon breeze while listening to friends play on stage.

I remember watching from stage right as my daughter danced on stage with the Celtic Dance Academy for the Irish Nutcracker. Jane played fiddle in the band while the kids put on an amazing show for a packed house.

I should have made contact… I should have said, “I don’t even know what to say.” I could have offered words of encouragement if I found some, or I could have asked if there was something I could do to help. But you see… I hadn’t seen her in a while… so I hesitated. I figured I’d see her at her benefit concert in a couple weeks. I’d say those things in person.

Jane’s benefit concert is now a memorial. Her family still needs financial help for the unpaid medical bills. I’ll be going, as are countless others. She was loved by many.

This experience has taught me something. Like I said, I hate talking on the phone, but it’s a dislike I’m just going to have to deal with, because too much is at stake to not reach out to my friends. I thought I had all the time in the world… turns out, we all had but a few weeks left to let Jane know we were with her. I know she knew how many lives she touched. I just wish I could have let her know, one last time, that she left her mark on my life, too.

So friends, I implore you….

Reach out.

Don’t wait.

Make that phone call.

Write that email.

Buy the card that reminds you of a friend, fill it out, and SEND IT.

Plan a trip to see someone you miss, and then actually GO on that trip.

Make plans with your local friends, and do it often.

Go see your friends’ kids’ performances, games and events.

Say “yes” to the last minute invitation for a night out.

And for the love of all in the Universe, if you find out that one of your friends is sick, don’t wait… even if you have no idea what to say.

Make that call. Don’t hesitate. You may not get the chance.

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