Dear Wendy
Dear Wendy


Home Forums Get Advice, Give Advice “FRIENDSHIP vs MOTIVATION to LIVE”

  • This topic has 9 replies, 1 voice, and was last updated 4 weeks ago by CanadaGoose.
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  • #1099889 Reply
    Dear Wendy

    From a LW:

    “I am an Amateur Radio Operator – Ham – with a Gordian knot between helping a dear, Ham friend and discovering when to quit.

    Ralph is 72 yo and has been a Ham most of his life. We have known each other since 1990, meeting via Amateur Radio.

    2 years ago, he made a hideously stupid mistake, running-off with a woman to Arizona, from Pennsylvania. Needless to say, he was in a hideously, co-dependent marriage. He cut-down, literally, his extant, antenna tower, dismantled all his antennas and away he went. I believe, but cannot confirm, he was legally divorced before exiting his – required? – misery.

    After discovering his “error” — friends are destined to use euphemisms — his step-daughter drove to AZ, in his car, retrieving him and his all his paraphernalia “home” – yet another euphemism.

    A cadre of local Hams has promised to erect a new tower and new antennas. Ralph has chronic health problems and recently finished a 6-month “hospital” stint away from home, mostly from being bounced from one “facility” — there’s our old friend euphemism — to the next, when Medicare coverage was exhausted. Along with health, there other issues — have both of us in tears — which have fostered endless delays, on-going for the last 2 years. For now, Ralph is confined to bed, in the living room, venturing into a wheel-chair only with intervention of a Physical Therapist, and support – literal – personnel. He is supposed to be dedicating PT to being able to be ambulatory, a euphemism for walk. Urinals and bed-pans are his most necessary companions.

    The gentleman who is head wrangler on this affair just had a stroke in one eye, losing most of its sight. Combined with Ralph’s continuing concert of pathology, lack of “motivation” — an extremely kind and generous euphemism — and doing things for himself, weather, seasonal cold… it all comes down to this: should we continue “promising” — well, you know — to do this work, knowing Ralph may die in the interim plus no guarantee he will, indeed, use the new tower and antennas to its fullest, as he pledges. [this has happened with a previous Ham and 1 of those grunts traveled from North Jersey] Ralph conveys the feeling, he is living only for the day when tower + antennas are air-borne.

    HOW can friends — a truism until this eventuation — of decades past, convey their feelings/fears that after accomplishing the project, he will die and/or not fulfill his pledge of on-air activity; the sole justification for so complex and exhausting a series of tasks? Can, true, friends renege on so important, seemingly, a bequest to a friend and be friends? HOW can friends, patterned after the finest in literature, walk-away in disgust, from Ralph’s endless facility for “delegating:” — you guessed it — everything to others?

    Where lies the Venn Diagram – intersection – of promise, tenacity and proof-of-friendship?

    My deep thanks for your consideration and guidance.”

    #1099891 Reply
    Dear Wendy

    This was a little hard to follow but I think the gist is that your friend tore down his ham radio equipment when he abruptly moved and now is in the market for replacement equipment, which you are some buddies would be willing to help supply but not if he doesn’t use it or if he dies before he can use it. Is that right?

    I think if doing something kind for someone is dependent on them living a certain amount of time to enjoy said kind thing, you aren’t really such a good friend as you think you are. if doing something kind for someone you care about in his final days/weeks/months just so that he might be reminded how loved he is before he goes appeals to you, then this is the kind of project that would probably be worthy of your time, money, and attention.

    #1099892 Reply

    I think that most of the friends, unlike you, are not doing this out of a promise of future performance. They are going this BECAUSE they know Ralph is in bad shape and they want to do this nice gesture for their friend.

    #1099895 Reply

    Wow. If I get this right, you and your “friends” (a euphemism?) don’t feel like putting in any effort if the dude is going to die? That a kindness is only worth it if it pays off for the giver? I don’t think I’ve heard that one before.

    I know nothing of ham radio, so I don’t know if you can find an airwave without some giant tower. Instead of setting up his equipment, why don’t you just visit him and bring some cake, share a story and then tell the ham friends about the cake and story? Maybe record it and play it out on your airwaves if people really want to hear his voice.

    #1099898 Reply

    NEWSFLASH: Your friend is not dying on purpose to spite you.

    #1099900 Reply

    Would it not track that giving Ralph some more connection to the outside world and his favourite hobby back might in fact extend his life?

    #1099901 Reply

    After discovering his “error” — friends are destined to use euphemisms — his step-daughter drove to AZ, in his car, retrieving him and his all his paraphernalia “home” – yet another euphemism.

    I don’t think you understand the words you are using, especially euphemism, and we don’t know what you’re trying to say with the scare quotes.

    Anyway, if he’s in Pennsylvania, then I don’t see how you can erect something like that in the cold. It’s not safe, and it doesn’t sound like anyone has the actual equipment yet anyway. Focus on being very kind to him. For the HAM, keep making progress on logistics and tell him y’all are working on it.

    #1099919 Reply
    Miss MJ

    I mean, if you no longer want to do this project due to cost, time, whatever, then don’t. Tell your other buddies you can no longer continue. But don’t blame it on your friend possibly dying before he gets sufficient (in your eyes) use out of the equipment and don’t try to talk everyone else out of it on that basis, either. If the issue is none of you have the time, budget, whatever to continue with this project, then as FYI said, it’s cold, materials are scarce and they can be why the project is endlessly delayed without explaining to your friend that you don’t think his life expectancy is worth the effort.

    Also, about that life expectancy – don’t shun or deem worthless your friend because his health is deteriorating. I get it can be scary facing your own mortality via a similarly aged friend and the temptation is to blame your friend for his health issues, but that’s shitty. Also, none of us has a chrystal ball. Some us might die in our sleep at 110, some might be severely injured or killed in an accident and most of us will succumb to one of the various top medical killers in the country sooner let later. Imagine how you’d want your friends to treat you if (when?) the shoe is on the other foot and treat him like that now.

    #1099923 Reply

    Um, please stop pointing out your “euphemisms.” If you think your audience will not pick up on the subtext of your statement, just state it directly. Euphemisms, when used correctly (which I don’t think you are), are fine, but constantly drawing attention to them is like constantly saying “pun intended,” drawing attention to your own perceived cleverness while actually just being distracting (and sounding a bit pretentious). Let your words speak for themselves.

    On that note, pretty much what everybody else said. You should really rethink your own motivations. They seem somewhat skewed.

    #1099924 Reply

    What this letter seems to be saying is: I promised to do something to help my friend but I don’t want to anymore. I’d like you to help me not feel bad about it. Some reasons we could use to let me off the hook are that he made a hideously, hideously stupid decision a couple of years ago that we can judge him for PLUS he’s sick and might die soon. So, maybe you could say “why bother?” since I could invest time and money and he won’t even live long enough to appreciate it to my satisfaction. Oh, and did I mention that I am quite morally superior and quite the intellectual with a stratospheric and “creative” – note the euphemism – knowledge of vocabulary, capitalization, punctuation and grammar?

    If you don’t want to help your friend anymore, don’t. If you feel guilty about it, maybe you should. You sound shockingly judgmental.

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