Mother has a best friend but mother's best friend is not being at all helpful to Mother at the moment. Her ex husband died and she had to sort out his estate and then very inconveniently to Mother, her best friend's present husband has now had a nervous breakdown. This means Mother's best friend can no longer drive Mother around hither and thither or bother Mother with one hour long phone calls. Well, I certainly know about one hour long phone calls with Mother. I avoid them and R is the victim.
"I said luv, I said pet, I said luv. It's not that I don't care. It is all very well for your husband to somewhat selfishly have a nervous breakdown, but you are supposed to be my friend and take me out to places when my neglectful children cannot mange it. Apparently they have lives. You were supposed to be my friend and now your husband has taken on a nervous breakdown, you are not at all useful to me and I am disappointed in you as a friend".
Ok, I am exaggerating, but it is the boiled down essence of my telephone conversation with Mother.
What has happened to Mother's best friend's husband is extraordinary. He is a self employed manufacturer. The stress of companies he supplied products to who never paid him as they went broke possibly brought on the breakdown. He is under good care and his recovery might take about three months. At the moment he is changed from a vital, clever and active person to a vacantly staring and heavily medicated zombie.