Friends, Family, and Other Strange Relationships

Birds of a Feather…

My blog suffered a bit due to neglect during the past couple of months. I regret that slightly, but life had kind of taken over for a while, consuming a good portion of my time. I had been busy with a play (One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest) and was focusing on creating a realistic patient for the show.  I believe I succeeded and received some very heart-warming praise from both audience and cast members alike.  Many people told me it was the best performance I had given to date.  Maybe I’m tooting my horn just a little too much but it sure made feel proud of my work and my efforts.  It’s a wonderful feeling when you give it your all and receive recognition for those actions as well.

In addition to working on the play, I had to deal with the craziness of Thanksgiving, Christmas, and my daughter and her fiance buying their first home in the middle of all that.  Add in rehearsals and practicing for the play and I barely knew which end was up.  Lastly, my very close friend, Linda, was moving into Heather’s old bedroom at the end of January.

Now Linda and I are very close friends.  She doesn’t like me blabbing about her personal life–she prefers to do that on her own. Anyway, I am not revealing any deep secrets when I tell you that she’s been out of work for over a year.  She could no longer afford her apartment and continue to pay the extensive amount of bills she had amassed over the past couple of years.  She was working a second job and barely keeping up with her bills.  Living a lifestyle that she felt she deserved but really couldn’t afford disastrously caught up with her when she lost her job. Of course, she lost the second job with weeks of losing her main job…

Linda’s a really sweet friend and I hated to see her in that position. She’s had a pretty rough life, with a rotten childhood that progressed into a pretty lousy adulthood most of the time.  She suffers from Fibromyalgia that causes her constant pain and often makes her look like a hypochondriac to outsiders.  She’s been involved in numerous car accidents (some her fault and some not), where she has received some serious injuries included 7 or so broken ribs.  She’s had several rotator cuff surgeries and her shoulder frequently aches.  She’s also plagued with migranes that range from mild to crippling.

On top of all that, Linda was addicted to prescription pain medicine. In all honesty, could you blame her? If I had that kind of pain all of the time, I’d probably but out at the mall hacking strangers into tiny bits with a hatchet.  After her last accident, he family sort of pulled together and intervention and Linda was convinced to go into rehab.  She has been clean ever since but suffers greatly from her constant pain. Her son is a recovering heroin addict who has been clean for over two years now. It’s a precarious situation because 9 out of 10 heroin users in recovery, end up using again. But he’s strong and Linda works hard to support him in his effort. Her daughter is recovering from alcohol and pill abuse, often struggling with her recovery.

Well I guess I did blab a lot but I am quite proud of Linda’s recovery efforts. In the midst of all that pain, she still soldiers on. Yes, she often has her moments of, put nicely, sadness and sometimes it’s hard for her to shake that off.  But somehow she does and she continues on.  It’s a struggle I witness every day.

Linda is not just a friend, she’s also family.  And as family goes, most times we’re crazy anyway. And yes, Linda’s crazy too. In fact, I often go around singing the “Crazy Linda” song. (Sung to the Patsy Cline tune, Crazy.)  I often call her insane-a-woman.  When she calls me on my cell phone, I’ve assigned her a ring tone of a man screaming. Awful, aren’t I?  Maybe, but I like to feel that I am reminding her that things could always be a lot worse.

For now, she has a place to lay her head down at night and doesn’t have to worry about where her next meal is coming from.  And although she’s not living in her own place, she has her own room with a tv and a dvr in it.  Plus she’s got someone like me to torture and tease her, and most of all, to be there when all the ugliness starts to close in.

Now please don’t think I don’t have problems of my own, because I’ve got more issues that Time Magazine. I’m no saint myself and I’m not looking for praise. She’s family, and family takes care of family, it’s as simple as that. And I do receive some benefits.  She cleans like a madwoman (pun intended).  In fact, my friends have commented that the house has never looked cleaner.  She also cooks and is a pretty damn cook, too.  We sit down at the dinner table every night, which I really enjoy and she does to.  We watch TV together and sometimes take walks in the evening. We like similar things and, for the most part, we get along pretty well.

I don’t know how long all this will last before she drives me crazy or I infuriate her once too often with my sarcastic mouth.  But for the time being, we’re gonna make a go at it. She’s really got no choice in the matter right now, and actually, neither do I. As I said before, family is family. We birds of a feather have to stick together.


8 thoughts on “Friends, Family, and Other Strange Relationships

  1. I hear you, man. In the words of the late, great John Lennon, “Life is what happens to you when you’re busy making other plans.”

    Look at the situation with my mom. She moved in and my life was turned upside-down. I won’t get into the rest but for those few months it wasn’t easy being me.

    I wish Linda well. I attended a wedding this weekend for a friend who’s also had it rough. But she’s determined to turn things around, and this was a step in the right direction. We’re there for her just as you are with Linda, and that’s what a good friend always does. Kudos.

  2. Marti says:

    Preston, my niece has fybro and her husband has many health issues–along w/that you know what I have gone through with Frank and his health issues. Depression is also a very sad and ugly thing–have suffered from it myself as well as people very close to me. You are a good friend for lending a hand and..well, just being a good friend. That’s a rare thing these days. Blessings to you both!

  3. Kudos to you Preston for being a true friend. Not that many people would offer to help a friend like that. Many may offer, but not actually go through with it.

    I’ve got back problems myself, and I’ve seen others I know get addicted to prescription pain meds. I avoid them like the plague and suffer through it. Which isn’t easy, because I’m on my own now. My partner left me for another woman. Apparently she had been seeing her for months. (While she was still with me.) So it’s just me trying to manage a big house. Sure my kids are here, but it’s not the same as having another adult helping with the housework and whatnot. Instead of wallowing in depression, I jumped right in dating and I’ve been seeing a really cool chick. It’s amazing how it can change your attitude and get you moving. My house has never been cleaner. And yes, I did it myself.

  4. Preston,
    Linda is VERY lucky to have a friend that considers her family and would invite her into your home like you did.
    Sounds like you’re reaping some of Linda’s talents as well. 🙂
    Glad things are going well!
    Stopping by from SITS.

  5. Lilo and Stitch is by far not one of my favorite Disney movies. But this line has always stayed with me:

    “This is my family. I found it, all on my own. Is little, and broken, but still good. Yeah, still good.”

    Good thoughts to Linda, and your kindness is just amazing. Happy spring!

  6. Linda is so very blessed to have such wonderful family as you. I’m glad that things are going well for you both. How exciting about your performance, it sounds amazing!

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