Jake just phoned for his regular check in to see if all is well before he heads off again to somewhere up north for a week working the supermarkets where most sales people just don’t want to go. It strange how we met through the music business and both landed up going into sales, Jake always thought he would be able at some point to become a sales trainer and has put a lot of time and person effort into learning all the different sales styles and the psychology behind those different methods, taking great pleasure in explaining them all to you, if you give him the slightest chance. He has never made it past sales person, which I have to say, he is good at and has always managed to have a comfortable living from. I was also a good salesperson, one who didn’t know what I wanted to do and landed up as an operations manager for a call centre, having passed through several levels to get there. It’s mad how one person can be filled with ambition and never move and another just drifts through life and rises to places they didn’t even know once existed.
To many people the friendship between Jake and I was always a strange one, we met and landed up very quickly as partners, but I saw clearly that Jake wasn’t happy, he never had normal one to one relationships, he was more the kind of guy who would see loads of people at the same time, each of them aware that they were not the only one, but never seeing or meeting any of the others. He quite rightly knew that wasn’t something I would be happy with and he let go of all of them, to be just with me. It lasted less than a month, before I let him go his own way, with the usual thing people say, we will always be friends, believing you might nod in passing but not speak, or spend time with them ever again. I hadn’t allowed for the fact that Jake was Jake and when he said something he sticks to it, I never even had time get over saying goodbye when the first phone call arrived, asking for my help with a gig. He owned a music studio and a couple of PA rigs back then, so it was easy to find reasons to ask me to be around and to be a friend and he actually has turned out to be the most loyal friend I have ever had in my entire life. For years I went to his assistance when needed, taking over running his business when he couldn’t, being a friend who didn’t question him or put pressure on him and he did the same for me. His harem has changed, grown, disappeared and rebuilt many times since, I have been through 2 relationships, both lasting a handful of years and of course then meeting and marrying Adam, Jake has been there through it all, including giving his support throughout my illness and I have been there for him whenever he has needed me. People like Jake are few and far between, not only because he is a true friend, but other than my first husband, Jake is the only one of my friends that my Mother ever liked, that is a huge accolade believe me.
Finding yourself with just two people in the entire world who actually have stood by me through everything is something I feel very humbled by and totally delighted that I found both of them. Without Adam and Jake, I don’t know if I would have made it this far still with some sanity left and still with a desire to carry on. It really is the people you have around you, that make all the difference as to how you learn to manage your own illness. I know that if anything goes wrong, or if I just need to talk to someone one and if Adam isn’t here, I can still even all these years on, pick up the phone to Jake and he will be there for me, without question. It isn’t often that Adam isn’t here, in fact, it normally only happens twice a year when he goes to see his mum at her home, other than that he is never too far away to drop everything and be home in minutes. He is always the person I turn to first, but there is an amazing comfort zone just knowing there is also someone else out there, who is almost as loyal and I know I don’t ever need to explain anything to, as he knows me so well.
My support network numbers a total of two, you don’t need a huge number of people, or even the involvement of social services, as long as you have just even one person, you have all you need to get on with life. The time you need the most people around you is honestly that point when you are making the transition from able-bodied to disabled. During that time, I think I actually saw Jake every week, he would find a reason to pick me up from work, or to pop in for coffee, because he knew I needed someone to talk to, to let go of all those feelings and that just letting them loose once, was never enough. It is also at that point that most of your friends will start to disappear, but true friends without asking show their true colours. For the last 6 years, Adam and Jake have been the only two people in my daily life and the only two people who can tell me off for wallowing, or give true empathy when I am dealing with pain. I like to think that I am a strong enough person that if I had also lost Jake, that I would have managed fine, just Adam and I working through it all, but that second voice, that second opinion and that second line of support, has been most welcome.
I never forget just how lucky I am to have a beautiful daughter who will happily listen to her Mum and I know if things went terribly wrong, she would also be here for me. For the last couple of years, she has lived in London, before that she lived in the US, but I know she too is there for me, just in a very different way. My direct support will always come from Adam and as time goes on, I also know that both Teressa and Jake will be there to support Adam when things get too bad. They are my family, my support and the people I need and love the most, whether it was luck or one of those plans in life that was just meant to be, I don’t know. What I do know is that I wouldn’t have made it this far, as easily as I have without them, they have given me everything that I could possibly need, that the medical services never could. If you are lucky to find someone who is happy to be around a person who is falling to bits and happy to accept you in all the phases of illness, then hold onto them, treasure them and be sure that they all know just what they really mean to you. If today you are fit and healthy, well choose your friends carefully, be sure they are there because they truly care and you truly care about them, as tomorrow, well who knows.
Please read my blog from 2 years ago today – 04/06/12 – Watching the world go by
Sometimes, when I have finished writing my blogs and setting up all my tweets on the schedule I wait until the notification of my most recent blog to go out and then I go on to the post page and I watch the spinning globe on the left of my screen. Suddenly the small flags appear, somewhere there are already green point of previous visitors and sometimes new dots appear. It never ceases to amaze me how people all around the world click on my Tweets and then appear……