The 4AM Friend

I got a random message from William on Facebook messenger. It was at least 4AM when it was sent, but I didn’t read it until the following morning. He asked to just talk through things as his dad’s health was in trouble and didn’t show any signs of improvement. Worse, his dad checked himself out of emergency care because he didn’t like hospitals. The stress was palpable.

We chatted over a few hours. I asked if he had friends nearby to talk to and to hug; the road ahead would be hard and I know what a hug at the appropriate time can do for a guy. He said he had family near.

His dad went back to the hospital two days later as his wife made him.

God bless all of you women for the amount of stupid you force us out of sometimes.

More messages, more stress. William was hopeful things would go okay with his dad, but they weren’t OK. He just wanted someone to talk to who understood where he was without having to explain as much. Just an open ear.

Here’s the thing: this is the first time I’ve spoken to William in ten years. Literally a decade and nary a word in that time, but in a time of great distress – the declining health of his father – of all the people in the world he could have called on to support him through this time, he called on me from more that halfway around the world and knew I would be there for him when he did.

I hope that all of my friends feel that way. I hope we’re all the kind of people our friends can call at 4AM (even if we don’t respond immediately).

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