Erin's Journals

Monday, November 28, 2022

Just a thought… A true friend sees the first tear, catches the second and stops the third. [Angelique Arnauld]

Read to the end for a 10% discount at – our Drift with Erin Davis sleep stories partner.

An early alarm goes off today and I’m back to Guadalajara’s international airport this morning, where the hour-plus long wait to get out after having arrived a week ago Saturday will haunt me for a long time.

If you haven’t entered Mexico, you may not know about their unusual way of letting you in: you gather your luggage (I had none), then get in a Disney World-long snaking line to hand off your customs card and then press a button. If the light is green, off you go; if it’s red, you get to have your luggage screened, opened, etc..

I got to my sister’s about two hours after I was expected; she was still hospitalized with that fractured hip (and immediate replacement), but a friend of hers met me and my cab to take me into the house – the one that had just been cleaned by her friends (with fresh sheets on beds, etc.) before my arrival.

As I helped Cindy get up and mobile, fed her pills at the right times (not that she and her spreadsheet needed any aid), prepared meals, and helped in the night on her trips to the loo, I was struck by a feeling that will stay with me a long time.

It is this: wherever you are, make a circle of friends and keep them close. I am a hermit by nature; many of my friends are here. Online. You and I may not have met, but you are my friend. When I was stranded in Edmonton for over seven hours back on Nov. 5th, you kept me company on social media. When I was left without luggage for a big event the next day, thanks to the same ill-fated travel experience, you (specifically my “Teri Godmother”) came to my rescue. Further back, when we were struck by the biggest blow a parent can endure, you propped up Rob and me with your kindness and your huge gestures. You have always been my circle.

But Cindy has people she sings with, plays cards with, lunches with daily, goes to theatre and dinner parties with (and sorry for all of the bad grammar there – I’m too wiped out to care right now). These women all came by with cookies, pies, meds, flowers, know-how (an RN changed bandages some days so I didn’t have to), laughter and company. I know she’s in good hands and they’ll be with her now that I’m on my way home today, and with Cindy’s fortitude (Davis Steel may sound like a law firm, but I swear to God it’s in our DNA) she’ll be on stage at that concert two weeks from now, just as she plans. Never bet against Cindy.

I have a few friends on Vancouver Island – maybe three I could hope would be there if I was alone (don’t you dare, Rob) besides Phil and Brooke, of course. But I have to try harder. I have to step outside of my hermit-like existence and crochet a comforter of friends who will be there if I need them, as I would be for them in return.

I’m sure there are many people like me, whose lives are so completely interwoven with that of their partner that they’d be lost if anything altered to remove them.

Cindy’s friends are her sisters. Am I still glad I went down? Definitely. She says she’d have been put in a care home to recover if not for my trip and whatever help I might have been to her. But will those women be there for her in the weeks to come? Again, yes. After the year she’s had, they’ve proven themselves again and again.

I’m grateful, as I know she is, and I can only hope she’ll share this journal with them. Friends in good times are wonderful and easy, but a friend in hard times is a gift whose worth can never, ever be measured. 

I HOPE to have a video journal for you next week, but I leave Friday for four days in Kelowna to help Dad move. So, it may be brief.

Meantime, there is another Christmas story on Drift with Erin Davis, free for you tomorrow (and always) thanks to with a very sweet and enticing offer from them: go to their website and input the code Drift upon checkout and you’ll automatically get 10% off whatever you purchase there. I just wish they sold pillow speakers too; they’re the perfect Christmas and holiday gift to allow you to Drift off to my podcasts.

This week’s story is Little Gretchen and the Wooden Shoe and, appropriately, given what I’m talking about with you here today, it’s about appreciating what life brings us, even in the hardest of times.

I’ll always be grateful for this connection.

Rob WhiteheadMonday, November 28, 2022