Tuesday, May 6, 2014

My Friend May

I have shared on Google Plus an article about the advantages of having a much older friend because it reminds me of my good friend May. She is 73 to my 50.

We used to be neighbors in a trailer park. Upon meeting her, I was immediately drawn to her no nonsense style. She tells it like it is. That is so rare in today's world.

She had five dogs and an elderly cat that was supposed to have been her grandchildren's. It was supposed to "stay at grandma's" for a little bit before they brought it home, yet sixteen years later she still had it. Her dogs were all rescues. She got her very first dog when she was 63, so I figured she was making up for lost time by having so many. All of them were well behaved and you could tell they were well loved, too.

We would do all the running around that girlfriends do. Shopping, lunch. I would accompany her to the vet's sometimes because a couple of her dogs were too big for her to get in and out of the car by herself. And it's just about impossible for a basset hound or a basset hound mix to jump in and out by themselves.

She had been left to raise two very young children by herself and had never remarried. All her life she was independent and worked hard. We discovered that we had lived in Myrtle Beach, SC at the same time. When her daughter became pregnant with her first child May moved here to help her.

She makes the most wonderful quilts. When she would show me what she was working on one would be more beautiful than the last. It was a pleasure to go to the fabric stores with her. That could take hours.

She still has one dog, a tiny shih-tzu named Sassy. She had to bury two dogs and the other two went back to the rescue group. One is brought to see her where she now resides. It is an assisted living complex. She has Alzheimer's now.

In the three months she has lived there I have only been able to go see her once because my car has been torn up and she is not on a bus line. Her car was sold because it was no longer safe for her to be driving around alone. We spent the day together. I took her to the Wal-mart. I was heartbroken because she could not find her wallet at first and she was saying she was sure that someone had stolen it. Perhaps her daughter. She is sure her daughter is taking all her money. I think that is the illness talking. But the reason I was saddened is because she began to cry. That is new. All I could do is reassure her and wait for the tears to dry.

We talk on the phone every few days. She forgets when the last time we talked was and repeats stories over and over again. I just listen again and again. I do not want to point her repetition out to her. I do not want her to feel bad. I want to keep her as my friend for as long as humanly possible.

She still quilts. Her fabric squares take up much of the storage space in her small room.

She tells me all about the new people she is meeting during meals and the activities they have for the residents. There is a microwave for communal use because she has but a small sink and a tiny fridge along one wall of her room as a kitchen of sorts.

Now that my car is running I can go see her more often. She has been and is a good friend to me and a good friend is hard to find. She makes me want to be a good friend.

Here is the article about having older friends. I hope you enjoy reading it also. And I hope you have a friend like my May.

Part 2

May did not know I was writing about her today. I thought of her when I found that article in my Facebook news feed. Yet, she just called me.

She is over the moon happy. She has found a man and fallen in love! They are going to get married around Christmas.

So, even though we don't see each other as much, we are still very close. It makes me very happy that she is so happy. She was giddy as a school girl.

If you can find a friend like her, don't let her age be the reason you don't pursue the friendship.

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