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Sue: You’ve Got A Friend

September 6th, 2011 admin No comments

I did have a friend …. I believe he died yesterday.  Trouble is, I don’t know yet.  His family asked me to respect their privacy and not get in contact further.  It is such a hard thing do.  My goodbyes I said to him on Sunday afternoon.  I knew he was dying and as I left the hospital ward, the tears were streaming down my face.  Selfishly, I did not want him to go even though I knew there was no way of recovery from that point.

Who is he?  I have known Ivan for 6 years now.  I first met him when he read one of my flyers that went out to householders offering IT assistance for users who struggled to get out of their homes.  Ivan was 82 years then and his wife would sit in the high chair whilst I was there working with him to help his computer knowledge and she was always smiling and chuckling at his efforts.  They were wonderful to know.  His wife had to go into a care home not longer after and for some 6 months Ivan and I lost touch but I wondered how he was and gave him an out of the blue call only to find that his wife had died. Ivan needed a friend, family have their place and always will do but friends are different – you can say things to friends that you can’t to family.

Over the last 5 years Ivan and I have been in constant contact.  On some of his good days we would get out to lunch.  I took him out to Lincoln to see his son on 2 occasions (always stopping at The Little Chef as he used to do that with his wife) and over the years we were in contact by phone usually a couple of times a week.  I would always stop in for coffee and a chat when I could and would pick stuff up for him if he had run out of anything fresh, like fruit.

To me, Ivan was the much missed father figure.  To Ivan, I was the light of his life and gave him so much pleasure and smiles.  His favourite comments were “its a buggeroo” and “oh lovey” and I will miss him so much.  His family never knew how much we saw each other.  That relationship spanned the years between us and the friendship we had, that for us was such a strong bond for both of us, we never shared with others for fear of judgments – you know – the old man near his end and the younger blonde woman who just had to be there for his money because of course there could be no such thing as a solid friendship with such an age gap.  He was 88 in March this year and he has grown frailer by the day – I have seen this coming but not as fast as it has happened.

The family have asked me to respect their privacy and I have done that but my heart is hurting.  The tears are still threatening now and yet I do not know for definite if he has gone.

So from me to him … no matter where he is – heaven or earth – Ivan …. You ….. Have …. A ….. Friend.  The lyrics are courtesy of Carole King.  UPDATE : The family texted me Wednesday morning (7 Sep).  He died yesterday morning.  I will miss him so much.

When you’re down and troubled and you need a helpin’ hand
And nothin’, oh, nothin’ is going right
Close your eyes and think of me and soon I will be there
To brighten up even your darkest night
 
You just call out my name and you know wherever I am
I’ll come runnin’, oh yeah baby, to see you again
Winter, spring, summer or fall, now all you got to do is call
And I’ll be there, yeah, yeah, yeah, you’ve got a friend

 If the sky above you should turn dark and full of clouds
And that old north wind should begin to blow
Keep your head together and call my name out loud now
And soon I’ll be knockin’ upon your door

You just call out my name and you know wherever I am
I’ll come runnin’, oh yes I will, to see you again
Winter, spring, summer or fall, all you got to do is call
And I’ll be there, yeah, yeah, yeah

Ain’t it good to know that you’ve got a friend
When people can be so cold, they’ll hurt you and desert you
Well, they’ll take your soul if you let them
Oh yeah but don’t you let ‘em

You just call out my name and you know wherever I am
I’ll come runnin’ to see you again
Oh baby, don’t you know ’bout
Winter, spring, summer or fall, hey now all you got to do is call
Lord, I’ll be there, yes I will, Lord, you’ve got a friend

You’ve got a friend, yeah
Ain’t it good to know, you’ve got a friend
Ain’t it good to know, you’ve got a friend
Oh, yeah, yeah, you’ve got a friend

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