Everyone should be blessed to have "an old friend." Mine is a feisty woman of 72 who's nearly blind now. God willing, I'll see her for a couple days the first week of April.
She lives alone in a mobile home park and I lived with her for a few months after leaving the U.P. five years ago. She's always been my "mother" and friend, a rare and precious combination.
I met her years ago when I bought a place next door in a small town near Ionia. Eventually, I married and we became good friends with her and her late husband. Years later I divorced and moved away. Before my doormat was even pulled up my "soon to be ex" had shacked up with her daughter. Better her than me.
The story gets better though.
After 10 years of marriage her daughter and my ex divorced. No surprise. When her daughter's current live-in boyfriend died she came home to her mother. And, you guessed it, she remarried her ex, who was my ex. Since remarrying, she's had little to do with her mom. My friend made supper for her former son-in-law every night while they were divorced, cared for him when he broke his leg, listened to him cry about his broken marriages, etc. In other words, she kept on giving - no matter the person or circumstances - while he kept on taking.
Now my old friend's ailing and the daughter and "recycled son-in-law" are "just waiting" for her to die. My friend's bailed her daughter out of more situations than either of us can count, provided a home for her while she was "shopping for another man" and helped out all of her grandkids and great grandkids. Where are they now? "Busy."
It gets better still. The former girlfriend of the "recycled son-in-law" is the woman who does what her family should be doing. Every day she stops by my friend's house to walk her dog, pick up her mail, have coffee, bring her groceries and tidy up her home. Every morning she calls to make sure she's awake and out of bed. In the evening the roles are reversed: my old friend calls to make sure this woman's up in time for her evening shift at Meijer's.
So last night my old friend and I were talking on the phone. She says: "One of these days my daughter will have to find another man. She's not capable of standing on her own two feet." I laughed and said, "She's probably already looking seeing as ----is going in for back surgery."
A few seconds of quiet were followed by: "She wishes he'd just die on the table 'cause she's tired of him being sick and laid up." And then, "I finally asked her, 'what are you gonna do when you get old and have more ailments than you do now'?"
All I could think was karma's gonna do its thing.