I have three best friends that I’ve acquired over the years. Two of them are pretty conservative but not very political. The other isn’t political either but she was a total Obama fan and I’m quite sure that she votes democrat.

This woman, I’ll call Delores, is one of the best people I’ve ever met in my life. Loving, smart, fun, caring, funny, God-loving, positive, generous…just a great person.

Me and my husband met her and her husband Jim years and years ago at church. No, not really “at” church. What happened is that me and my husband were looking for a place to play Euchre where they didn’t smoke or drink alcohol and we found out about a local church that had monthly Euchre games in the fall/winter – with a food buffet to boot that we could graze on in between games.

Cards and food. How can you go wrong?

So that was almost 20 years ago and we’re still playing Euchre and eating cheese and meatballs and chocolate chip cookies and taco dip. There are many church members who go there to play and others like me who don’t attend the services on a regular basis.

They haven’t “recruited” me yet to be a church member but my husband goes pretty regularly. Part of it, I think, is that he likes to be with Delores and all his other Euchre friends.

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I go “to” church once in a while, especially if it’s a picnic or Thanksgiving feast or Christmas celebration – I’m sure you can see the theme here. Delores bribes me with food. Or she tells me we can go out to breakfast after church service. She’s got my number.

Me and my husband have always loved being around Delores and Jim at Euchre and we had them over to our house a few times over the years and met them a few times to eat or listen to music…but we got especially closer to Delores after her beloved husband passed away about two years ago in the summer of 2020 at the age of 75. They had been high school sweethearts and were together for 55 years.

They spent their time bowling, going to casinos, playing cards, watching TV, dancing, listening to music, handing out with family and friends – and just enjoying each other’s company.

Jim was just as great as Delores. And he was quite the character – very much like my husband.

Jim was a lot of fun and had a great sense of humor. He was also a Lions fan (as his kids are now) but don’t hold that against him. He was also an Air Force Veteran. He was a unique guy – like no other.

When he died, I reached out to Delores, especially in that first year, as often as possible, to keep an eye on her and to tell her we loved her. It was something that Jim would have wanted me to do and it was something I needed to do for myself as well. I remembered how hard it was on my mom that first year after my dad passed away.

Now that I have an iPhone, I am able to text Delores all the time and we all get together for trips (to eat of course) and we had a wonderful celebration this summer with her family in honor of Jim with a BBQ that lasted about half the day at the beach. Jim would have loved it. One of their sons grilled the whole time and we had pancakes, bacon, sausage, hot dogs, hamburgers, salmon, marinated chicken, fresh fruit, homemade cake and lots of other goodies. It’s definitely an event I will look forward to every year even though their other son beat the pants off of me and my husband in Euchre.

You would think that me and Delores would make an unlikely couple. She’s a democrat and I’m a conservative. She’s black and I’m white. And she’s 24 years older than me. But we click. We understand each other. We always tell each other how much we love each other. We are cut from the same cloth.
Delores is like no other.

In the last two years, her and her daughter have taken in two teenagers in their home who had no where else to go because of family problems.

When Jim was in the hospital for months, it was during COVID-19 and they said she wouldn’t be able to come and go. Well, she wasn’t about to be separated from the love of her life. So she grabbed her clothes and her laptop for her business and she stayed in his room to be with him. She didn’t leave the hospital. She washed her clothes in the bathroom. They were together as it was meant to be. Right up until the end.

And right now she’s taking care of Jim’s elderly stepmother about four hours away because she saw that she was declining and needed help. So Delores is cleaning up her house, monitoring her and setting up services like Meals on Wheels so she’ll be able to stay in her house safely when Delores leaves.

I miss Delores. I won’t see her for another few weeks but she’s right where she needs to be – like always.

This is who Delores is and it’s why I love her so much.

I always laugh when I watch true crime shows and all of the people say that the victim would “give you the shirt off their back.”

They can’t be wonderful and generous people. Pillars of society.

But Delores is. She is all of that and more. She’d not only give you her shirt, she’d probably take you to the store and buy you shoes too.

And when she gets back, it’ll almost be time for football season and that means me, Delores and my husband will be sitting in the stands of the local football stadium cheering on her grandson who is a senior this year. And yes, we’re usually a threesome because my hubby doesn’t want to miss out on any of our fun or good food.

Although the term “good food” is a bit of a bad descriptions for Delores’ food choices lately. She’s on a point system to lose weight so I think she can only have 25 or 30 points a day. She’s doing it so that she can stick around until she’s about 100 years old

I like that idea so I fully support what she’s doing. Fully support means that I text her photos of ice cream and ribs and ask her if she can figure out where we are. And I tell her how many thousands of points we’re eating without her around. That’s what friends are for – regardless of who we vote for.