Not many people have good things to say about their ex. When relationships break apart, there is always a little (or a lot) of bitterness and the people involved do not want to have anything to do with each other—they want to move on.
With that said though, it doesn’t mean that ALL couples behave the same way. Many factors come into play when they think about whether or not they will ever meet again, or if they will stay in touch; kids are one such factor. There are couples who try to remain civil for the sake of their children and maintain a healthy co-parenting relationship so that their kids don’t feel the brunt of their problems; Mary Ziegler and Bill Henrichs are two people who chose to work together and be there for one another and their kids, even after their divorce.
The two started dating when they were just 14-years-old after they met in high school. They didn’t wait too long after turning 18, to get hitched. They knew that they wanted to be together for the rest of their lives.
Mary and Bill went on to lead a beautiful life together; they were together for 24 years, with two children, before they decided that it was time for them to part ways. Life was asking for different things from both of them, and the two understood that it was time to file for a divorce. Even though they aren’t husband and wife anymore, Mary and Bill have always maintained a great relationship, and this past October was proof of how they lived up to being there for each other, as friends, and for their family.
Bill began experiencing kidney-related problems late last year. It was then announced that he would need a kidney transplant. Many family and friends offered to give up their kidney, given that they were a match; Bill had remarried after his divorce with Mary but his wife wasn’t a match, either. Only his daughter was a match for her father, but her giving up a kidney was tough because she has young children of her own. Mary didn’t want their daughter to go through surgery anyway, so she decided to get tested for a match—she was successful!
Mary ended up giving up a kidney to her ex of over 20 years. Talking to KMSP, Mary says: “If this story changes one person’s actions or attitude towards their ex, it’ll all be worth it. For me, it wasn’t even a decision. It was kinda like him calling up and saying, ‘Can you come over and help us rake leaves?’ That’s how I think of it.”
Watch the story unfold in a news report below!