Ode to “Michelle”

I have a friend, we’ll call her Michelle.  Michelle is like gum on a shoe that you can’t get off no matter what you do or how hard you try.  We became friends nearly 20 years ago while dating the same guy.  He told me she was his stalker.  He told her the same thing.  Then he moved in with me and one day I came home and she was loading our fridge with food.  I was totally confused.  He introduced us like it was nothing.  Later he told me that he was just taking advantage of her kindness–that should have been my first clue that he was a douchebag. About a month later the two of us were kicking him out of our lives and we kept each other as friends.  We even shared a few apartments.

Michelle gets a bad wrap, she’s been called a slut and many other names that shame women.  She gives herself freely and without reserve. She loves with her whole heart and loves you even when you’re being a bitch or if you’re a douchebag.  There’s almost always some drama going on in her life.  It can be exhausting being her friend. There were several times in which I’ve attempted to “break up” with her.  It just never worked.  She always comes back as if nothing had ever happened.  

My daughter has a friend that resembles Michelle in personality and looks.  Sometimes we joke about what would happen if they ever met–would they recognize one another?  Would the world collapse in on itself? The other day I was sharing a story about Michelle with my eldest.  It wasn’t a kind story.  I was being a bitch and making her look like a slut.  Later that night I was feeling remorseful for being so ugly to a woman who while makes some stupid mistakes sometimes (don’t we all?) but loves me like few people have ever loved me and I realized that Michelle has helped to show me who God is.  

Michelle loves people wholly and unconditionally.  When you think you’ve finally done it, you’ve finally shaken her off, she shows up.  She makes you laugh and you remember why you became friends in the first place.  I’ve witnessed her give guys too much of her love only to be rejected, humiliated and overall treated like crap.  Yet, she will still remember these douchebags with love and kindness.  She hasn’t forgotten all the crap they did to her but she still remembers them fondly.  She appreciates them for who they were and are.

Frankly, I’ve been a raging bitch to her myself.  I don’t deserve her love and friendship; yet it remains.  Yeah, she can be freaking annoying (who isn’t?) but I hope that I can learn to love like Michelle loves, like God loves, wholly and unconditionally, no matter what.