Helping someone was something Annie was accustomed to in her youth, but since her children were grown, she rarely cared for another. As she tucked the blanket over Paul’s shoulders, changed the vomit pail, prepared the dialysis apparatus and woke him when the fluid bags needed changing, she got in touch with her humanity again. It felt good.
What is it about caring for another that evokes a sense of peace and purpose in oneself? Not only that, but their arrangement for Annie’s education was a bonus she hadn’t expected could happen to her.
She was denied the opportunity to work as her children were growing and after a divorce, was left with little to support herself. One low level job where she excelled and took on extra projects only worked to show her she wanted more, and was at a loss as to how to get it.
Her friendship with Paul happened quite by accident. He was walking along the sidewalk as Annie drove by on her way to a park to enjoy the walking paths. On a whim, Annie turned the car around and with boldness unaccustomed to her she said: “Hey, would you mind a walking partner?”
“For sure,” he said.
And their friendship grew to coffee times at McDonalds and an introduction to some of John’s many friends. Paul’s life had been amazing, he had been a satellite hacker, a professional musician, an acupuncture specialist and a hypnotist, among other occupations. He had even had security clearance in the Pentagon for several years. Now he led a fairly low key life, putting on karaoke shows once a week and spending weeknights investing.
Annie felt lucky to have met him.