I am always grateful for the encouragement and support I get from friends and family, but sometimes I just want some space. Then I remember that some people don’t have nearly the level of love and support that I have. I have had to curb myself at times because I have a very unusual family, or so it seems.
I have never been a big telephone talker, unless it’s to chat with my Mom. She and I stay on the phone flowing from one subject to another, like we’ve not spoken in weeks, (even if it’s only been a couple of days). We just enjoy talking to one another — most of the time. Ever so often we need a break, but after a week or two, we jump right back into the swing of things.
My Dad and I have never really spoken frequently, maybe once a month or every other month. Our conversations were usually boring and brief, to be quite frank. However, since getting my lupus diagnosis, my Dad demands to hear from me at least once a week. I will say that initially these conversations were annoying, but after a while I realized a few things. My Dad was not getting any younger, and this was a time that I will later look back on and appreciate.
The other thing I realized was that, being so far away, this was a way for him to be close to me and support me. He never wants to be a pest, so if I miss a week he won’t call me (the time difference has him apprehensive). Instead, he will call my Mom to ask what’s going on. Once I embraced that he worries about me and is being supportive, our conversations have become pleasant. I have even started teasing him in areas that I would never have done before.
I am becoming closer to my Dad because of these weekly conversations. Our last few conversations have been well over an hour long, and that time flew as we laughed and teased one another. (This week I teased that I wanted to make sure that I call him before he started calling all over the U.S. to find out my status).
My phone rings at all hours because not only are my parents checking on me, but cousins, siblings and friends are, too. Unfortunately, since moving overseas, I am not accustomed to my phone ringing. Now, I have two phones (I’m multicultural; I have an American phone and a Thai phone) and often miss calls — especially because I can get calls from Skype, Facebook, FaceTime, WhatsApp) as well. My phones make a variety of sounds, and they never seem to be in the same place at the same time. Unless I am out, I also don’t pay them much attention to notifications left on a phone.
However, those times when I realize my phone is ringing leads to pleasant moments, and great conversations with my loved ones. I do have one cousin whom I love dearly, who seems to call me just as I post on Facebook about going out to meet someone. And that call comes right in the middle of me being in the middle of something … drives me crazy. I always ask, “Did you see my FB post?”
My point is, my family is so supportive that I have to remember sometimes to be grateful, and not annoyed, because I am just not a phone person. I love the fact that they want to know how I’m feeling, and that they are here for me no matter where I am, or what is going on.
I realize there are a lot of people who are not so blessed. So to my family, if I sounded annoyed the last time I spoke with you … that’s just me. You keep calling, and I love you for doing so — even if I don’t always sound like it.
To my guilty cousin who calls after I share to FB, I love you for your logic. He says, “I thought I’d catch you on the way, while you had both phones, but I just wanted to hear your voice.” They are learning my little secrets to not talking.
I tease about feeling cursed, but I am anything but. Thank goodness for my friends and family. Being so far away is hard enough, so knowing I can reach out to my family and get a virtual hug at any hour is actually a very big blessing. And I am truly blessed and grateful for that. I wish everyone had those hugs.
Note: Lupus News Today is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Lupus News Today, or its parent company, BioNews Services, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to lupus.