With So Much

My friend Jeff was a beautiful soul and a kindred spirit. His simplicity towards life was something I admired. Even though I never asked him very detailed questions about why he’d chosen to live his life the way he did, I gathered my own assumptions. That was good enough for me at the time.

Jeff was a man I had known since my childhood. I believe he was 16 years older than me. He used to walk the streets around my grandparent’s home. His mother lived across the street from them. He had an unfortunate accident that sort of, altered his ways. I don’t know the details, so I don’t know the difference between how he was before and the recent years. I only knew the kindness that always emanated from him. Jeff and I were not around each other for many years, but I had met up with him several years ago at a gas station.

Jeff had lost his wife several years prior. I did know that much. Living in the same area one’s whole life, one tends to find out things about people in conversation. He was living in an abandoned building at the time. His bicycle served as means of transport. He would hang around soup kitchens for meals. His family was available for his needs, but I had a feeling he had burned a few bridges with them. I began seeing him more and more around the area as I would get away from work on my lunch hour. We began to talk throughout the years about many things. He always was a friendly and simple man, and I had gathered that he harbored a lot of pain. His simplistic view towards life and living was a lesson to me.

Jeff died in August.

I was sitting here thinking of a few regrets I had that related to Jeff and the friendship we had formed in the latter years. I quit giving him things because I began to see him as someone who looked for a handout instead of someone in need of a friend. Our communication sort of broke up after so many run-ins with him that were plagued with the begging for money. I felt used. I was thinking specifically about how it related to another friend I had lost recently because of my selfish conclusions, when all I really needed to do was put my boundaries in place. My mouth and jadedness forcefully pushed away two people. It happened with several others that have now passed, in my same selfish way. I see why I’m alone sometimes. Outside of family, I have very few that I call my friends. All of this has been coming up in my thoughts periodically in recent months.

It is sometimes tough to be kind. It is hard for me, anyway. When I sense a threat that I can foresee being a nuisance I’d not handle with patience, I flee. Maybe it stems from all of the trauma in my life? I don’t know. It is certainly hard to accept the many sides of another, especially after so many people I had called my friends and family screwed me over, even after so many chances I had given them, just because I was lonely. The friendly world, I have found, is sometimes not friendly at all.

The thing I’m trying to do lately is to just be kind to everyone, and to not get too wrapped up in the details. If the opportunity comes about to where someone is around more, I will do my best to put boundaries in place without being the old Damon, full of bitterness and resentment. New people are not the enemy. Old ones aren’t either. People with blemishes are still worth accepting and being cared for. Before it is too late, I need to be kind. It is becoming scarce, and so are good people. All of us have our flaws, and really, how we define the flaws makes all of the difference.

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