Shaken, Not Stirred: People who love.

January 22, 2017

Shaken, Not Stirred: People who love.

A blog by Jim Bond.

I recently went through a fairly serious medical crisis; one which had been building for awhile, and due to which I had a brief hospital stay.

The nature and details are unimportant, especially since I’m an intensely private person.

What is important though, are the people who came to my assistance, offered their love, counsel, food, conversation, jokes.

My older children are millennials spread throughout the country, from New York City to Mid-Missouri.  My son Michael is closest geographically, living in Kalamazoo.

Michael immediately came to my side and spent several days. He and his mother, from whom I’ve been divorced for ten years, continuously offered support. Meals were prepared and delivered, movies were watched. Extensive conversations were engaged in, reminiscences exchanged.

I was reminded of how similar Michael and I are. We both love to share stories. Here’s an excerpt of a Father’s Day tribute my son Thomas once wrote:

“Dad is never short for a story, which all seem to start, did I ever tell you about the time _________? I know I’ve told you this story before, and he proceeds to tell the story anyway.

I’ll leave the storytelling to him, as he is much better at voices and momentary pauses, and plus, he has so many more than I do. His stories are his recollections, times where people were meaningful, times where people did stupid things, and his teachable moments.

More than all other fathers I know, Dad shares his pride and joy for his children and imparts respect, etiquette, good sportsmanship, and a love for music, old cars, Laurel & Hardy films, homemaking, and bacon.”

Michael even adopted some of the same terminology during our time together: “Dad, have I told you about the time Sarah and I…”.

The long line of Bond raconteurs will continue through my progeny.

Even in my temporarily weakened condition, Michael encouraged me to remain active: “Just take baby steps”, he said metaphorically. On a trip to the grocery store right before he left he mentioned that I was getting the spring back in my step.

Although I remember getting engaged in my father’s affairs in times of crisis as he aged, I had always been confident that I would never need the same sort of assistance. I was wrong. In many ways, Michael became my father and mentor in my time of need; we switched roles.

What has been very difficult since this episode was limiting my contact with my seven year-old son. It’s not that I didn’t want to see him; I didn’t want him to see me. His look of concern a week before as I was declining is forever emblazoned into my brain. 

Selfless acts of kindness were offered, not only from the aforementioned family members, but from my neighbors of almost two decades. These are people with whom there are few shared interests, but that’s not necessary for friendship. We don’t golf together (the only time I golf is when my older boys need a focus for humor. [Access the clip of Honeymooners where Ralph learns to play]). We don’t dine out together, don’t go to movies together.

We do, however, always engage in the typical easy banter of neighborhood gatherings during the warmer months though. Their children and mine grew up together. They are kind, gentle, generous people who have been a source of help, inspiration, and friendship for the entire neighborhood.

They have always been tolerant of my arrogance and my sometimes bombastic personality.

Not an easy task that.

Thank you to family and friends.

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