17/06/2020

Max and Stacey's friendship has spanned across two decades, and Covid-19 was never going to stand in between them. Stacey, from L'Arche Liverpool, discusses the unrelenting loyalty that has endured and adapted to the global pandemic.

Technology does puzzle me. I was always frightened of trying new things, and I have always avoided social media if I could, but since we all have been in isolation I have embraced the technological solutions available for us to stay connected.  It’s a totally new world that I am starting to dip my toes into - it’s fun and easy to use!

Me and Max have been friends for a long time - over 20 years - and we have always celebrated events together such as Christmas and Easter, buying each other a small gift and spending quality time together; the traditions we have together are important to us both. Every month Max will come to my house for her dinner. She likes to spend time with my family,  playing with my son, watching a film with my daughter on the couch, stroking the dog. All of us would have a family meal together, my husband making cups of tea for Max and singing songs in the kitchen. Max likes to give instructions to the Amazon device in the kitchen, telling it which Queen songs she wants on... and she always remembers to say thank you to Alexa! Technology makes our life more enjoyable, finding our favourite tunes in a second - Max can do this independently and she helps me to speak to Alexa!

We made a promise to each other not to be sad about the situation, but to be glad that we had something to plan for when the lockdown was over.

Since the lockdown we have not been able to meet in person. Max cannot come to our house and I have not been inside her flat due to the risks, but we have found ways around this. Video, WhatsApp and FaceTime have helped me and Max to see each other. I can video call Max at home to have a chat with her, and she can chat to the kids and see that me and my family are safe. I can see Max and all Fountain Court are safe and well too. It gives us both reassurance and we can still connect to each other; our friendship is not on hold, it is lived in a different way.

On April 1st we were due to go for a meal and then to the Empire to watch “We Will Rock You!”. We were going because Max and I love to sing Queen - they’re one of our favourite bands. As we could not go, we video called each other and had a chat about the future. We made a promise to each other not to be sad about the situation, but to be glad that we had something to plan for when the lockdown was over. We will go to see “We Will Rock You!” and enjoy a wonderful meal after all this.

...our friendship has stayed strong and we will look back at this time knowing that we were there for each other.
Max and I will always find a way to stay connected as we are so important to each other - we have shared many adventures along our life journeys, ups and downs, happy times and difficult times, but our friendship has stayed strong and we will look back at this time knowing that we were there for each other.

Max now uses her iPad and downloads all her favourite songs and I am more confident with technology -  it’s pushed us out of our comfort zone for the better. Our weekly FaceTime is now part of both our routines, and we will continue to do it. It’s made us realise how important it is to make time for people you care about and to stay connected.

Words by Stacey Owen, L'Arche Liverpool

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