My mad loony friend
How do you describe a friendship that is only about a year old? yet, you feel like you've known this person for many years?
I first met Alison a month before Paul died. It was a fleeting meeting as I dropped Andrew off at her house to celebrate her son's birthday. My head was in a different place at that time. Paul was in hospital, but I was doing my best to maintain a normal life for the boys. I didn't register Alison or anyone around much.
While I was organising the funeral, I had a text from Alison wondering if she and her son could attend. Never one to say no, I said of course. Honestly, I couldn't have recognised Alison if I'd bumped into her on the street then. A few days after the funeral, Alison started bringing over meals for us every week. They were beautifully cooked and labelled. I started to clock that this woman is ever so slightly mad. Why else would you put so much time and effort every week?!! She also offered to do my shopping and I do remember on one occasion I did ask for some toilet rolls :-).
We started talking and I learnt that Alison had recently started out as a professional gardener. I am a hopeless gardener and Paul knew this. So, he'd left a note (well...more a long essay) for me on what to do in the garden - things like how often to clean the pond, how to maintain the ivy and the hedge and how to leave the wildlife area untouched. I suddenly had this urge to share this very private document with Alison. I needed help and I instinctively felt I could reach out to her.
I am glad I did. Alison came over and helped me with the garden and our friendship slowly grew. We both have a similar (weird) sense of humour, taking the piss out of each other and everyone else. I feel very relaxed around Alison and I feel like I can share anything with her and not be judged.