Monday, August 01, 2005

Pam

"You know what? You have a Florence Henderson complex..." She said, with disgust.


Huh? I feel an uncontrollable need to marry a widower with 3 children and wear my hair in a she-mullet??


"Wait...no... Florence Nightingale. Yeah. Her. You are trying to save the world, one person at a time."


I thought about that for a while. She was right. Every close friend I've ever had has been really messed up and NEEDED me to save them. Or at least, that is the role I would assume. Savior.


Prime example? My friend Pam. I've written about her a few times in my journal. You can get some sordid details of our friendship in a previous post (and in that post is a link to an earlier post on how we met).


With how I left things in that entry, it looked like I wasn't going to be friends with Pam any more. I really did try and distance myself from her. She didn't call me for quite a long time. Then one day, she called me. For once, she didn't want anything from me. All she wanted was to talk and catch up.


When last I left her, she had finally moved out on her deadbeat husband, filed a legal separation, and was making a new life for herself and her son.


Well...since then, she had lost yet another job and rather than being homeless, she had no choice and moved back in with her ex. She was managing to keep their fighting to a minimum and her son was happy as a clam to have his parents together again. That poor kid has had it rough, so I was glad he was doing better. He was so close with his dad.


For a few months I had high hopes that things were going to be ok for them. David had finally been approved for Disability payments and Pam had a good new job, so they had some steady money coming in. David was able to buy some land and finance a double-wide. Pam still despised him, but they were co-existing in peace.


On May 3rd, while Pam was at work, her son at school...David was having coffee in his kitchen with a buddy of his when he suddenly stood up, clutched at the back of his head yelling in pain, and fell to the floor. 48 hours in a coma and he slipped away from an unexplained brain bleed. He was 57.


My friend was now a widow at 39 and her 8 year old son was suddenly fatherless. We were all left stunned. All I could think about was all the times she had joked with me about hiring someone to kill him (she wanted to leave him and the state, but he threatened her if she tried to take his son away from him...he was a gun owner).


My friend Pam has had the WORST luck of anyone I have ever known (read the linked post above for many examples). And just when I think things may turn around, they don't and things get infinitely worse. Now? They had been living paycheck to paycheck and she couldn't even afford to pay for David's funeral. The house payment and car payments were due, she now had medical bills for David's brief hospitalization (their medical insurance through her new job hadn't gone into effect yet)...you get the picture.


For once, her family came through for her and helped her pay for the funeral expenses and gave her some money to tide her over, but she was in serious danger of losing her car and the house. Her new job was being really understanding and had allowed her to borrow against vacation time she hadn't even accumulated yet and they had more news for her.


She had signed up for life insurance for herself and David when she started her new job. Her benefits were supposed to start on May 1st. David died on May 3rd. She hadn't even had her first payroll deduction to pay for this insurance...would he be covered?


We waited for almost 2 months to hear the final verdict. I was sure she wouldn't get it. With her luck, there was no way.


I heard from her the other day. She got it. $20,000. She paid off her bills, paid off the rest of the mortgage (it wasn't very much, their trailer was very inexpensive), and bought new bedroom furniture for her son.


I am still in shock. She might actually be ok. Finally. Really OK.


Now I just have to worry about her new boyfriend. He is 51...the uncle of a friend of hers...never married and no kids...good job... I guess she really goes for older men. So far she has nothing but good things to say about him. I am crossing my fingers AND toes. Can you all do the same?

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