On 5 November my friend Tamara goes into hospital for an operation. Although she knows it will cause her a lot of pain, she’s being unbelievably calm and – in fact – she’s even excited! It’s testament to her unbelievable character, and I’m not sure I’ll ever be more in awe of her. It’s just a shame I won’t be able to tell her that in person.
Quite understandably, Tamara doesn’t think she’ll be up for visits in hospital. Instead, she seems to have plans beyond that – she wants to get the operation over and done with and go home as soon as possible. After that, she’ll want to see people. I hope I can be one of them, because it’s the very least I want to do after all she’s done to help and reassure me over the past year. Sometimes she seems to put herself down, but there’s no need for that at all, because she has a heart of gold and everyone should recognise that. She’ll say or do whatever it takes to see those who are most important to her smile, and she lights the fire within you so that you can feel warm and calm again, even if it’s only for a split second in the middle of a crisis. I don’t think anything I write here will really do her justice – she’s one of these people you need to meet for yourself. When you do, she’ll instantly make you comfortable. Even if you’re at a stage where you’ve only exchanged a few words with her, she’ll still look out for you. When I started sixth form, I didn’t know Tamara as well as I do now, but I could tell there wasn’t a bad bone in her body a mile off. My observations were proven to be correct when I was eating lunch outside the sixth form block alone one day. It wasn’t a particularly warm afternoon, and I’d been a bit stubborn by insisting I shouldn’t wear a coat. What a silly decision – I was shivering, but before long Tamara popped her head around the door, asking if I wanted to sit inside with her. I can’t remember if I accepted her offer, but there was no denying that it meant a lot to me. I thought I was insignificant, a bit of a blot on the landscape, so it was amazing to think that someone I hardly knew was noticing me. Later that year, when we went on a Christmas shopping trip, I was left on my own whilst everyone else went off in their own groups. Afterwards, I got a Facebook message from Tamara saying that if she’d known I was alone, she would have invited me to accompany her. They say it’s the thought that counts, and this was one that certainly meant a lot to me.
From there, our friendship has gone from strength to strength, and she has been one of my most trusted confidants through some very difficult times. In any case, she’s definitely someone who can restore your faith in humanity. With this post I wanted to lift her, cheer her up and make her smile as wide as possible through an uncomfortable ordeal, but the truth is that I think she’s better at doing that than I could ever be. Still, I hope this helps, and I hope you like it, Tamara – we’ll all be behind you as you get through this!