Tuesday, October 21, 2008
Another coffee shop morning while Katie sleeps. But today, I ran into a central character from one of the stranger chapters in my (admittedly) strange life. J was once married to D, who was once one of my closest friends.
D coached my Katie's soccer team. She was bright and funny and tremendous fun to be around. We became good friends when I called to apologize for a hurtful thing my former husband had said about her in the hearing of her daughter. She laughed and said, "Honey, you're divorced. You're not in the business of apologizing for that ass anymore."
We were friends from that moment on. When she told me she'd been diagnosed with MS, I dived right in to help in anyway possible. For five years, I cooked and cleaned and chauffered her kids. I hung Christmas lights on her house. I sat in her car at soccer games when it was too hot for her to be outside. I drove her to doctor's appointments.
Her speech was sometimes slurred. She was sometimes unsteady on her feet. She sometimes drifted off to sleep at inappropriate moments.
After five years, I discovered she did not have MS. It was an elaborate cover for the fact that she abused prescription drugs. Her family and I found out at the same time through situations involving huge drama, including an overdose that the hospital deemed an attempted suicide.
D landed in a treatment facility. When she completed the program, she called me to come pick her up. I told her I couldn't step back into the role of caretaker without having some questions answered, and she hung up on me.
We never spoke again. Did not even know for sure what happened to her until this morning, more than five years later, when her (now former) husband walked into coffee shop where I was sitting.
What a morning it has been.