I don’t know every one of my friends and colleagues’ birthdays. I try to remember ones of people I know well – people who are close like family. Not so much to involve myself more in their lives, but to remind them they are important to me, that I am grateful for them and for our association. Not everyone. Some people I know well are important to me too – I just don’t have their birthdate in my computer’s diary so I don’t write them.
I have one friend I’ve always been ‘careful with’ when sending birthday greetings – because some people don’t like birthdays. Add to that, depression and sending a birthday greeting can become something worthy of hazard-pay. I’ve walked on eggshells before so I’m careful in what I write and how I phrase it.
This friend, in reply to my birthday greeting the other day, replied with a few sentences describing a spectacular day of fun, family, food – ending with, “I went home tired and happy”. Wow! That’s great news. The other line which leapt off the page was this one: “Thanks for always thinking of me.”
What’s the lesson here?
When someone is down for a short while, or chronically, don’t give up on them – remember them, contact them, reach out to them. Don’t be scared, don’t be tentative, and most importantly, don’t give up. If someone really wants you out of their life they’ll let you know. If not, keep trying, keep doing and keep remembering. You are not wasting your time, your efforts or your feelings.
Sometimes we don’t know – can’t know, which means we should just keeping doing.