It’s about being there…

its about being there

by Kenneth Justice

~Yesterday at coffee one of my café acquaintance’s started to tear up as she sat down at our table…”Are you okay?” I asked

Yea, I’m fine….I’m crying because I’m so happy!” she said

It turns out that her older sister, who had been living the last few years as the proverbial ‘wild child’, had shown up at her apartment a couple nights before looking for a place to sleep, “My parents completely cut off my sister from their lives because she didn’t live the way they wanted her to live…..they were really hard on her when she told them she didn’t want to go to college anymore

Apparently, my coffee acquaintance hadn’t heard a word from her sister in more than three years….the last time they talked though, “I told her that I loved her no matter what and if she ever needed a place to stay she could come to me” she said. The parents still refuse to see the older sister; “My sister started drinking really hard and experimenting with drugs, she got a couple abortions….but I think she finally burned out and is ready to start over….so I’m going to do what I can to help her out. 

I’m not sure what to think; the parents cut the older sister off….but the younger sister kept her door open….its strange to see the twists and turns that occur in life. What I really admire about this coffee acquaintance of mine is that she is being there for her sister. Sometimes that is what life is about; staying faithful to our loved ones in the face of adversity.

Actually, much of life is about being there;

—) Employees have to demonstrate faithfulness to their employer by being to work on time every day

—) Authors and writers have to demonstrate faithfulness to their readers by providing fresh material (whether it is a yearly, monthly, weekly, or simply a daily article)…being there for your readers creates a connection between you and your readership. Michael Crichton was one of my favorite science fiction novelists and I began to really look forward to every new book he published each year; his death really hit me hard.

—) Parents should be there for their children no matter what….right?

I’ve had a number of friends who have dropped off the radar and disappeared out of my life for one reason or another. Perhaps I am wrong; but if those friends suddenly reappeared I would still be there for them. Sure, maybe I will be a bit hesitant to allow myself to become quite as close to them as I used to be….but isn’t a true friend someone who is there for their friends no matter what…even if they disappeared for a few years?

There are a lot of qualities in people I admire…and faithfulness is at the top of the list. Its easy to be nice to others for a short period of time. Its easy to be friends for a couple weeks or a couple years. Its easy to love your children when they are ‘obeying’ you……but being faithful and committed to your friends and loved ones in the face of adversity; now that is a quality that really impresses me.

Being there for others demonstrates something about our character. Biting our tongue and not condemning others for their decisions in life…and simply being there for them says a lot about our inner person; it demonstrates an attitude that fewer people these days seem to have.

My coffee house acquaintance went on to say, “When my mom found out today that my sister is living with me she was pissed off, she told me I shouldn’t let a drug addict move in to my apartment….Kenneth, I’ll be honest with you, my sister is very different from me; she’s covered in piercings and tattoos, actually the tattoos are one of the things my parents hate about her….but I’m learning to bite my tongue and keep my opinions on those things quiet

After the conversation was over I felt like tearing up myself. The maturation that this young 20-something woman is demonstrating by her love toward her older sister is really admirable.

Its an odd world we live in; so much of it is filled with conflict. Conservatives hate Liberals and Liberals hate Conservatives. Religious people bash atheists and atheists bash religion. War ravages so many parts of the Middle East, Africa and other parts of the world…….yet in the midst of all this chaos a young 20-something year old single woman loves her sister so much that it doesn’t matter that her parents are giving her hell for it; she is still letting her sister live with her to help her out.

There are many mornings when I look at the clock and dream about sleeping in and shrugging off the responsibilities of my life…..of disappearing to another world and losing myself……but ultimately I know that it’s important that I not give up; I too need to be there for those whom I love and care for……

And that is what’s been on my mind this morning as I’ve been sipping my coffee,


Categories: relationships

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

45 replies

  1. Great post, Kenneth! Thanks for being here and sharing your thoughts 😉

  2. Well said…there are several underground cable connections we are blessed with in life. Whenever you need them, they are there to support!

  3. “Being there for others demonstrates something about our character. Biting our tongue and not condemning others for their decisions in life…and simply being there for them says a lot about our inner person; it demonstrates an attitude that fewer people these days seem to have.”…

    This is going somewhere…on my wall. LOVE LOVE LOVE!
    Best piece of “gossip” anyone could pass around ALL DAY LONG…
    Great post as always Kenneth.

  4. You commented somewhere that these posts were “the essence” of much longer conversations. I am in awe of your distilling process. I am in awe of your conversations. And I am so very very glad I was guided towards your virtual cafe.

  5. As usual, my morning coffee with you has set me up to be a better person today. Thank you for your faithful dose of wisdom.

  6. Great post today! The notion of just being there when our loved ones need us is so important. It’s through adversity that we often find ourselves and our true friends.

  7. You used the word faithfulness, a quality of being present, not giving up on others. I find that concept exceedingly practical. If I substitute in a “faith” in a higher power as a certainty or a blind trust, then I am befuddled. If I use your commitment to making myself available, it seems always possible. Thanks.

  8. Kenneth, I agree with you completely… it is so important to “be there” for friends when they are in need. I wrote a post about that same subject last week and called it “Showing up is what Friends do.” I’d welcome your comment!

  9. Another great post! I was talking with my husband yesterday about how we were brought up by our Italian grandparents and parents to always be a true friend. It baffles me how a majority of Americans tend to treat friendship as a commodity. Something to discard when they move away or move on to a new social group. I know it baffles exchange students that kids will be friendly in class and then ignore the exchange student out in the hallway. We’re so mobile as a society, I think that’s partly to blame. I wonder, could our independent spirit and mobility also be a cause for families to be more likely to boot the black sheep?

    • I have lived next door to first generation Italians three different times in my life and every time each of the families were the kindest and most warm neighbors….there was always an open door to me to come over to eat dinner or hang out any time I wanted 🙂

  10. Reblogged this on The 43 Year Old Vegan and commented:
    A lovely friend said this post reminded her of my sister and me. I never feel like I’m there for her enough, so it was nice to get another’s perspective.

  11. I’ll never understand parents who can completely cut children out of their lives. There’s a difference between being cautious toward a child that has done you wrong and completely erasing their existence from your life. I had a cousin who went to jail for stealing and had a troubled history. When he was bad, my parents didn’t want my brother and I around him. This is understandable. However, when he was in jail, his (step) father, my uncle, still visited him. When he got out, he helped him find a job. Was he about to leave him in his house unattended or leave cash in plain sight? Of course not. He’s learned to be cautious of his son’s behavior. That doesn’t mean he can’t help.

    Despite all my cousin has done to push family away, most have stayed by his side. You don’t abandon family. Then again, I wonder if this is a “small town mentality.” Once I moved to an urban area, I found people who have cut themselves off from parents or siblings. There are people who haven’t seen their aunts or uncles in years. It just doesn’t compute to me.

    • TK,

      what sucks is that I’ve known so many people who’ve been to jail and came out only to be ostracized from their families….i’m glad your uncle is being there for him.

  12. Always extending your arm for who ever needs to grab it. Is a way of living. a tiring one but rewarding.
    I on the other hand am a very straightforward guy. And friends coming back is great but still would speak my mind. to clear the air.
    I to will always be there but I am not and never will be a doormat.
    What she is doing is fantastic. her sister coming back means she wants to change and that alone is a step forward for an addict. I hope the both find a lives worth of happiness.

    • “and friends coming back is great but I would still speak my mind”

      Yea….I probably would to in many instances…..I’ve had a couple experiences though in which it ended up being best that i let the past stay in the past and I never broached the subject of why the friend disappeared out of my life for so long.

    • true that one maybe should stay still, but a true friend would not stay still about leaving.

  13. Your headline “It’s about being there…” dragged me to “being present” a line from “Happiness is a choice” by Barry N. Kaufman. Perhaps… I see similarities between two of you, first of all the devotion to the others.
    I do not know how many of us are lucky enough to be a part of a healthy family, I’m not talking about money, about the main purpose we build a family: love, support, caring.

  14. Thanks for being here for us, Kenneth!

  15. Well written post. While I am a firm believer of parents always being there to support their kids no matter what, there is almost always two sides to every story. Confliction can take time to resolve. Saying one wants to change and doing are different.

  16. Great post as usual.

    We all need to find ourselves and be our own person. Parents need to learn to let go and not try to mould their children into little replicas of themselves.

    It doesn’t matter if you’ve got tattoos, take drugs or drink. Some people smoke or drink coffee. It all part of living. It’s a shame that people fall off the radar and succumb to addictions, but maybe they’re just trying to escape their reality. The important thing is to be there when they resurface and help them find a new reality.

    Anyone who has the strength to try and overcome drugs needs support and help, not condemnation and rejection. I’ll bet the parents of that addict aren’t perfect either.

  17. Being there for someone in need,
    It’s like the sun in the spring.
    Life should be all about loving, caring, sharing, learning, forgiving and smiling. We live and learn!
    I like what’s in your mind.
    Kenneth ☕️

  18. My sister hasn’t spoken much to me in 15 years… her decision, not mine.

    • too many people are in your shoes man….it sucks

    • Part of it is that she says she’s too overwhelmed with her problems to deal with any of the rest of the family’s problems, and part is that she and my other two sisters don’t know how to deal with my congenial but somewhat socially awkward wife. I think the latter is rather petty, but there you go.

  19. Wow, your blog is amazing. Yours is the only one I can’t stop reading. Every new post is a present and sometimes I prolong the waiting before reading it to enjoy the anticipation. Thank you for sharing your experiences. 🙂

  20. It’s amazing to me Kenneth… you’ll write something like this and then turn around and write the kind of comments that you do on my blog LOL. How quickly you shift gears! Again, what is it you put in your coffee? Anyway, I do find that it is with, at least a portion of youth, that I find hope in humanity. Sometimes I see it more in the teens and 20-somethings than other older adults. I never could understand being so judgmental of others for piercings and tattoos. It’s one thing to worry about or have some strong opinions about drugs (given the harm they do) but that still shouldn’t mean totally giving up on a person. I haven’t been there so I suppose there are some extreme cases where you just know a person won’t/can’t change but still… it can’t hurt to hope. As for being faithful, I agree. I’ve come to feel like it depends though. I have to admit to giving up finally on a few friends in recent years. I just feel like there does come a point where I’m not willing to put in all the effort into a friendship and get nothing back – it’s not only unfair, it’s not right. With these particular ladies, I also felt really let down when the behavior in my mind was even rude and couldn’t be there for me at a time when I really needed them to be. The one-sidedness went too far. My other friend, whom I’ve blogged about actually, was a different situation. That was one where I should have “let go” but I struggled with that at the time. But then again, there is still the idea that you can’t allow yourself to be used or walked all over on either. It’s a tough line to walk.

    • “As for being faithful, I agree. I’ve come to feel like it depends though. I have to admit to giving up finally on a few friends in recent years. I just feel like there does come a point where I’m not willing to put in all the effort into a friendship and get nothing back –”

      I agree Jen….there are definitely a lot of variables when it comes to subjects such as this and every situation can be very different.

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