Today it is John’s birthday, though he didn’t realise it as he doesn’t know what day it is. I organised a birthday lunch yesterday to which some of his friends came. It was a lovely afternoon.

However time is marching by and many of the friends who were once close to him, and whom he’d never have deserted, are falling by the wayside.

This is a note I wrote to one today. He was one of John’s closest friends. I feel that all those close friends who have not been there should read it. I stress that I understand about commitments and this is not intended to those beautiful people who have been quietly wonderful.

“Hi X,
Thank you for your message. I can only guess that someone alerted you to my post as it was put up last Friday, taken down very quickly (to avoid embarrassment) and yet I’m only hearing from you today.
The last five and a half years have been an ordeal for John and I feel very sad and angry on his behalf that his friends, particularly those once close to him, have been absent.
It is embarrassing to have to beg for visits.
From here on in it is up to you. His birthday is Sept 9, put it in your phone if you wish.
I know if this had happened to any one of you he’d have you living in our house, or at the very least be visiting regularly. That’s the kind of friend he is.
I realise time marches on but the man who supported and loved you all deserves more than this.
That’s really all I can say.
In answer to your question, he’s still at the nursing home where he has been for almost five years.
If you visit, please leave a message on the white board.
Yours,
Juju.”

John’s stroke and its aftermath caused (and still causes) immense sadness to our little family. However once the initial shock was over, the sadness was to be expected.
The abandonment by some friends has caused an unexpected sadness. In many ways this is much harder to take.
It is countered however, by the (also unexpected) love, kindness and loyalty shown by some who were barely known by us at the time of his stroke, and others whom I’ve met since.
I thank you all from the bottom of my heart.