It's not because I'm not thinking about and praying for that person (because I am) or that I don't have the heart to encourage them. I think it is because I am afraid I am going to say the wrong thing or send something that reminds them of what they are going through. Who am I kidding? If someone has recently lost a loved one or has cancer or a serious illness, most of the time they're thinking about it!
Putting myself in the place of those people, I am ashamed of myself. When they are experiencing what is likely one of the most difficult times of their life, they stop hearing from people. I am not the only one who does this. A lot of people do this when someone they know is going through their own personal hell. People just shut down and get all awkward and make excuses. Sometimes the person who is ill is acknowledged in the beginning, but as their treatment progresses and they are still in need of friendship and love, people sort of forget about them.
There are several people in my life right now who need my support. There will be future posts on this, but for today I'm going to focus on my Uncle Les.
He's 83 years old and still as charmingly ornery as he's always been. He's married to my Aunt Kathy who is a lot younger, but it never mattered because they go together like peanut butter and jelly. Secretly (I've never told them this before) I always watched them and admired their marriage. They always seem to get along well and he dotes on her in many ways. One time when I was about 20 years old I stayed at their house. He was retired and she was still working and I watched him get up early just to make a cup of coffee for her to start off her day right (he made one for me too!). I remember thinking that someday I wanted to be married to someone who would do all those little things for me. Fortunately, I am.
Uncle Les has leukemia now and is undergoing chemo. Instead of being my usual awkward lame self, I did something about it last week. I bought a Get Well card and I sent it with a little personal note. I know. . . la-ti-freaking-da for me, right? But the fact is, I did something. Anything. I told him I loved him and was praying for him. . . I acknowledged the tough time he is having . . . and I gave him a tangible reminder that he is important to me.
If there is someone in your life right now who is facing a crisis, pick up the pen or the phone. Stop procrastinating or making excuses. They need to hear from you right now, even if it is just a measly Get Well card.
If you think about it, say a prayer for ole Uncle Les too. Love you Uncle Les!