If you are in a room full of people you don’t know, are you drawn to people who might have similar interests as you or do you gravitate towards people who might be the exact opposite of you? What do you base those decisions on? How they look or dress? A certain vibe they give off? What draws you to the friends you make? Watching Oliver and his crazy, weird, rag-tag group of friends play in the park made me think in-depth about the friendships we choose in our lives.
I met an unlikely friend through a weird situation. I was at the hospital for an infusion for my treatment of Crohn’s Disease. An elderly gentleman was sitting next to me when I began to suffer an Anaphylactic reaction to my infusion drug. Unable to speak because my tongue was swelling and my throat was closing, he stood up with his IV attached and began flagging down the nurses.
We became great friends throughout the eight years we had treatment together. We didn’t bond because of how we looked. We didn’t bond because we had similar interests. We bonded because we were going through similar experiences.
He was 40+ years older than me and our friendship grew and grew. We would speak on the phone, we would meet early prior to our treatments just to chat in the hospital waiting room, and we would request to sit side-by-side during treatments. Despite a huge age gap, we had the most pure friendship I had ever, and probably will ever, know.
One day, someone said to me, “Isn’t it depressing being friends with someone so old?” It wasn’t. It was more depressing being friends with someone who could ask that question.