I am back from New York, safe and sound.
My trip was a very impromptu journey. My best friend’s grandfather passed away a week or so ago and they were heading up to NY for the burial service. They were leaving on Friday and my friend, Matt, asked me on Tuesday if I would like to join them. Having only two days notice, I did exactly what the responsible thing was:
I said yes.
You see, Matt and his mother had been doing a lot for his grandfather, in terms of taking care of him and being there for him during the final and hardest stage of his life. Its certainly not an easy thing to do, taking care of someone like that, but they handled it with strength and determination, the same drive that I’ve seen in Matt and has drawn me to him creatively for years now. However, with his grandfather’s passing I could tell one thing in my friend: that he was tired. He and his mother just needed some support: someone to crack jokes from time to time, help keep things organized, and take Matt out for drinks to unwind at the end of a busy day of being with family and dealing with logistical stuff. I don’t know how effective I was, being that I never find myself successful at anything, but I could tell on occasion that the little benefit my presence provided was at least significant enough to keep the two of them smiling. Overall, I thank them for letting me be a part of the experience and again offer my condolences for their loss.
What I take from all this is that sometimes doing something impulsive isn’t about doing something entirely selfish or leisurely. Sometimes it’s about dropping what you’re doing to help a friend. Cancel a weekend plan to help a friend move into a new place. Get out of work early because a friend broke down on the side of the road somewhere. I know I’ve talked about the importance of spontaneity on here before, and I stand behind that. However, we can’t let our rigid lives and yearning for leisure get in the way of the rewarding feeling that comes with just being there for someone. Hell, a year ago, I never would have done this. I would have been too afraid to ask off from work, or just instantly convinced myself that I couldn’t do it. But I am so glad I did, as getting to bond with one of my closest friends was exactly what I needed right now.
I wish Matt and his mother the best of luck and good health for years to come. And I want them both to know that I will gladly be there for them if ever they need me.
Paul Baptist Kass
1931 – 2015