Let Me Tell You About My Friend

Yesterday was typically busy. I began the day by taking a brisk walk with a sr. friend who takes twice as many steps as I do in a stride, but covers twice the ground. Man, she’s a fast walker! We got in four miles before 8am!

Then I prepared a home-made waffle for my spouse made from ingredients compatible with his diet which is still restricted due to his long-term illness. While it takes an hour for the whole process, it seems like minutes. My spouse sits at the kitchen table and reads the newspaper to me and we talk about current events.

After that, I took several senior pals grocery shopping. Then after the thrill of chasing four little old ladies around a grocery store wore off, I returned home, put on my biker leathers, revved up the Harley, and…

…met an 82-year-old friend who always wanted a ride on my bike as transportation to meet a group of friends who gather regularly for lunch at a local restaurant after church. I met her in front of her church as it was letting out after services.

She is a petite woman and was struggling to climb onto my Harley. Several of her friends came up to help, and together we half-lifted, half-boosted my friend onto the Harley.

One of her friends spotted the ring on my left ring finger, and asked, “does your wife ride with you? You seem so comfortable with a passenger.”

My older friend said to the person who asked me the question, “let me tell you about my friend [BHD]. He has a great marriage — so loving, caring, and thoughtful. He took care of his spouse during a very bad illness for more than a year. This summer, he built a pond and patio in their yard to provide a relaxing place for them to sit and enjoy their lovely back yard. It’s obvious to me that they’re still in love with each other deeply.”

My Sr. Pal’s friend looked at me, smiled, and said, “sounds like your wife is pretty lucky to have you!”

Before I could say a word, my senior friend replied, “[BHD] married his partner this past April. I was the one who arranged a party for them. His marriage truly is special, and yes, his husband is darned lucky to have him — as I am to have his friendship!”

[Setting reminder … outside a conservative Christian church]

The younger friend of my senior pal didn’t say much. She just smiled and wished her older friend a safe ride with me. But I could see the wheels turning in her mind as she turned away to walk to her car in the parking lot.

Like my friend Kevin said on a recent blog post, it is living life just like anyone else that gives those who rant against same-sex marriage no grounds to support their position.

I revved up the engine and took off. My senior friend was happy and I could feel (literally) that she was laughing with joy. When we arrived at the parking lot of the restaurant where she was meeting her friends for lunch, my senior friend said, “ride in circles around them!” Then she and I laughed out loud.

I slowly rolled to a stop. Some of her friends and I helped her get off the Harley, remove the helmet that I loaned to her, and listened to her describe her adventure. She said that she will never forget it.

I won’t forget it either, but for a very different reason. As unhappy as I was about having some cousins express disdain for same-sex marriage and directed their religious positions at me — I am no longer concerned about that. After all, I can replay in my head what my senior pal said, “let me tell you about my friend!”

Life is short: live life with supportive, adventurous, and happy friends!