"I am a bad friend. A friend who did not invest time, love and care in people. I took them for granted. Due to this selfish behaviour, I lost a dear friend and we didn’t speak to each other for almost two years. Thank heaven we did fix our broken relationship and I’ve learned my lesson." Picture: David Ritchie/ANA Pictures
I am a bad friend.

A friend who did not invest time, love and care in the people I chose to be part of my inner circle.

I was aloof and at times oblivious towards their needs and emotional well-being.

I took them for granted.

I missed appointments, forgot about their birthdays, only to be reminded on Facebook, rock up late and made many arrangements to meet up, but never did.

Due to this selfish behaviour, I lost a dear friend and we didn’t speak to each other for almost two years. Thank heaven we did fix our broken relationship and I’ve learned my lesson.

In spite of all this, they stuck to me and by the Grace of God never gave up on me.

They gave up their weekends to spend time with me in hospital. Rush from work at night to make visiting hours. Came past to see me before going to work.

I had a friend who called me all the way from Ghana while on a business trip. Another would drive all the way from Noordhoek in stormy weather to spend some quality time with me.

Another got me a laptop so I could carry on with my diary, no matter where I found myself. Imagine that! First time in my life I didn’t know what to say!

The most amazing thing is that they knew so much about me. What my favourite juice and fruit were. What type of bread I enjoy. What protein shakes I prefer.

They’d rock up with the goodies without me even asking.

I had a friend who drove every day from town to Groote Schuur Hospital just to deliver newspapers to me from the Argus office.

I’m embarrassed to say having me as a friend, they were running a loss by investing so much into the friendship they had with me.

I had no excuses that would ever have justified my behaviour.

I apologised. They were so forgiving and only had words filled with such love, kindness and care that it brought me to tears.

Tomorrow I need to be at a meeting with my doctor at Groote Schuur. They want to discuss possible chemotherapy with me.

Honestly, I know very little about it besides that it can really make you sick. But I have this little voice in my head that says: “What if - what if it can rid you from the cancer?”

I think I will do the right thing, get the information, ask the questions that need answers and then decide on what to do.

At the moment I am stabilised, in no pain and can keep my food down.

I live in Grace - every new day is a promise of another tomorrow.

I am grateful for all the good I have received and I am grateful for all the good things I am still going to receive.

* Danny Oosthuizen is the ambassador of #TheDignityProject. In his weekly column for the Cape Argus he tackles the struggles homeless people face. Connect with Danny on Facebook and on Twitter @masekind3213 or via email: [email protected]

** The views expressed here are not necessarily those of Independent Newspapers.

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