Friends and Passersby

Richmond/Terra Nova walk (February 28, 2019) Photo by Danny
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A year or two after my cancer treatments ended in 2009, I got an urge to write about my cancer.

At the time, I was hopeful that I would survive cancer and live my remaining days in reasonable health.

However, before starting my chemotherapy and radiation therapy, my oncologists indicated that I only had a 40% chance of surviving.

But on that same day, a young radiation therapist told me that I should consider myself a member of the 40% group that survived.

“She’s right,” I thought, “because if I wake up every morning believing that I am in the 60% group of patients that die – why would I want to get up?”

Her name is Vicky Grant, but I did not know her name at the time.

About a year and a half later, I began volunteering at the cancer center where I was treated.  Before this, I had never volunteered for anything.

It was a life-altering experience, and I looked forward to helping other patients in their journey of cancer treatments.

And it was a thrill for me to assist the staff, and I soon became friends with all of them.

I was trying to give back some of the love I received – to the staff and patients alike.

This was when I began to write about my cancer.

I also wrote about some of my life experiences and had based my writings on my loves, fears, cancer, and tears.

At the time, my readers were limited to cancer patients, staff, and friends.  At the time, most of my friends were actors.

Cancer is not how I defined my life, and I would not let it control me.

During my cancer treatments, my family did not know I had cancer.

My mother was dealing with many health issues, and I knew the news of my cancer would have been too much for her failing heart to handle.

Six hours after calling my mom to tell her I was coming to Ontario to visit her – my sister called to say that mom had died.

Nobody had ever loved me like my dear Ma, and she died without knowing I had been fighting cancer.

And I am embarrassed to admit that a selfish part of me had wished that I had told her about my cancer because she would have encouraged me – and a hug, even though we lived two thousand miles apart.

It was at her funeral in Oshawa that my family learned about my cancer.  I had lost a lot of weight, and my voice had changed due to the radiation treatments.

The only people who knew about my cancer were my friends.  And my circle of friends was either from the film industry or my working career at General Motors of Canada.

Over the years, I had represented GM in all provinces except Quebec. As a result, many of the dealers and distributors became friends, as did my fellow employees.

My neighbors in Bedford, Nova Scotia, are among my closest friends – as are my co-workers at GM Atlantic Zone.

A few years after the internet, email, and social media programs came into existence, everyone began using email as their main form of communication.  There were no long-distance charges, and you could communicate to anyone on the planet who had access to the web.

Then some brilliant entrepreneurs developed social media programs like Classmates, MySpace, and then Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.  And boy, did they get rich!

But the telephone companies did not benefit because they continued to charge customers for long-distance calls.

And we began using emails, text messaging, and social media platforms, in addition to our cell phones, to communicate.

Speaking of cellular phones – they were the first to offer free long-distance calls.

Unfortunately, the traditional telephone companies were slow to follow, and landline phones were replaced by cell phones.

It became difficult to justify having two phones – one efficient and cost-effective – the other expensive and slow to respond to changing times.

But there is a price to pay for all of the new technology.

The first thing is that we no longer memorize people’s phone numbers because we have them all programmed into our phones!

You merely click on the contact name and press enter!  And if the person is busy or on the phone, there is the added benefit of voice mail.

Now, when we meet someone, we exchange email addresses and phone numbers.

And when we want to search for an old friend – we check out the various social media platforms to see if they are listed.

And I get still get a rush of excitement when I hear from an old friend or acquaintance.

But the increased efficiency of communication comes at a price, including:

  • Getting calls or emails from people you hardly know
  • Not getting calls or emails from people you want to hear from
  • People not replying to voice mail or phone messages
  • People not accepting your friend request on social media
  • People unfriending you on social media
  • Gossip and verbal diarrhea – talking and being critical about others behind their backs.

For much of my working career, I carried a business card with my contact information.

After retiring, I started a new career as an actor.  I included my photo on business cards.  Most people may forget a name but not a face.

We used to rely on telephone white pages to search for someone – now we keep our personal information private.

Danny, what the heck is all of this about?  

Relax, Spanky, I’m getting to it.  Go back to eating your Captain Crunch cereal!

Anyway, I wanted to explain why I found it necessary to send an email to all of the contacts on my distribution list. So, here is a copy of what I sent to everyone yesterday:

Hi everyone,

I have decided to discontinue my practice of sending emails to everyone – effective immediately.  
Several people, on both sides of the border, asked me to take their names off my distribution list because they felt they were getting too many emails from me.  
I realize now that I was becoming a nuisance – but hadn’t intended to lose friends over it.  I guess we were never friends in the first place – my mistake.
For followers of my stories – I will now only provide updates and announcements on social media, such as Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn.  
I never intended to cause people grief – I was only trying to share my life with them.
So, if you are one of the people that did not ask to be removed from the list – you will understand why you’re not getting emails from me.
Have a nice day!
Take care.  Wear a Mask.  Laugh loud and often!
Hugs,
Danny 
********
Yes, I was hurt to get those emails, but I understand and respect their wishes.
I removed them from my contacts list and blocked them from sending me messages in the future.
I now realize they were never friends, they were just passersby, and I was wrong to include them on my distribution list.  If you were one of them – please forgive me for being a nuisance.  It was never my intention to intrude on your privacy.
That was yesterday morning (June 15th).  I turned my computer off and devoted the rest of my day to Holly Golightly and the Toronto Blue Jays baseball game.
This morning, I made a coffee, fed Holly her breakfast, and started reading my emails.
I got a flood of messages from people who were disappointed that I had decided to delete my distribution list, and most of them asked that I consider creating a new list and include their names!
I am thrilled that I have so many friends – real friends and have created a new distribution list.
I have also decided to work on the screenplay I wrote a few years ago.  It is based on a true story that a former friend had once told me about her life.
She learned that her husband of over 35 years had been having an affair with her best friend for the entire time they had been married and was devastated.  She found out about the affair from the friend, who confessed everything.
But that is all I will say – you’ll have to wait for me to finish writing the last chapter.
So, if you are reading this blog post – thank you!
If you are interested in being on the new distribution list – please send me an email, and I will add you to the list.
Dedicated to friends and passersby
I hope my stories are a gift to your head and heart.

Hugs,

Danny

Click on this Index to view my 215+ stories.

Today’s tune from Danny’s library (purchased):

Thank You for Being My Friend – lyrics

Thank you for being a friend
Traveled down a road and back again
Your heart is true, you’re a pal and a confidant

I’m not ashamed to say
I hope it always will stay this way
My hat is off, won’t you stand up and take a bow

And if you threw a party
Invited everyone you knew
Well, you would see the biggest gift would be from me
And the card attached would say:

Thank you for being a friend
Thank you for being a friend
Thank you for being a friend
Thank you for being a friend

If it’s a car you lack
I’d surely buy you a Cadillac
Whatever you need, any time of the day or night

I’m not ashamed to say
I hope it always will stay this way
My hat is off, won’t you stand up and take a bow

And when we both get older
With walking canes and hair of gray
Have no fear, even though it’s hard to hear
I will stand real close and say

Thank you for being a friend (I wanna thank you)
Thank you for being a friend (I wanna thank you)
Thank you for being a friend (I wanna thank you)
Thank you for being a friend (I wanna thank you)

Let me tell you about a friend (I wanna thank you)
Thank you for being a friend (I wanna thank you)
Thank you for being a friend (I wanna thank you)
Thank you for being a friend 

And when we die and float away
Into the night, the Milky Way
You’ll hear me call as we ascend
I’ll see you there, then once again

Thank you for being a…

Thank you for being a friend (I wanna thank you)
Thank you for being a friend (I wanna thank you)
Thank you for being a friend (I wanna thank you)
Thank you for being a friend

People, let me tell you about a friend (I wanna thank you)
Thank you for being a friend (I wanna thank you)
Thank you for being a friend (I wanna thank you)
Thank you for being a friend

Whoa, tell you about a friend (let me thank you right now for being a friend)
Thank you for being a friend (I wanna tell you ’bout a pal and I’ll tell you again)
Thank you for being a friend (I wanna thank you, thank you)
Thank you for being a friend!

Songwriters: Andrew M Gold
Thank You for Being a Friend lyrics © Kobalt Music Publishing Ltd., BMG Rights Management

 

About Post Author

Daniel (Danny) St. Andrews

An almost famous Film, Television & Stage Actor (as in almost pregnant) living in Vancouver, BC His other passions include cancer patient advocate (he had stage 3 throat cancer), walking with the Vancouver 'Venturers Walking Club, and of course, spoiling his dog, Holly Golightly. If you like the stuff he writes about - please leave a hug (or a comment).
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By Daniel (Danny) St. Andrews

An almost famous Film, Television & Stage Actor (as in almost pregnant) living in Vancouver, BC His other passions include cancer patient advocate (he had stage 3 throat cancer), walking with the Vancouver 'Venturers Walking Club, and of course, spoiling his dog, Holly Golightly. If you like the stuff he writes about - please leave a hug (or a comment).

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