Sunday, May 17, 2009

Like Always -or- The Lucky Few

The nicest thing about always is that there is not a before or an after - it just is. Some things just are.
Today I met a good friend here in "the City". It has been seven years since we last saw one another. We have only been in touch intermittently in the last seven years. A lot has changed, and it was like no time had passed between us. In spite of all the changes our relationship has not suffered at all. I am grateful for that and I am glad that he exists.
He and I were roommates a couple of times for what amounted to a few months while we were both serving as missionaries in the Dominican Republic. His faith and his optimism strengthened me then and I was reminded of that and strengthened by that again today.
A couple of facts about my friend: He is gay. He said that he always knew that when we were missionaries. As missionaries we each had a lot of different roommates. He said that he never felt so loved or so accepted or so unpressured to change as he did during the times that he and I lived together. We had a really good time together. I remember playing soccer with rocks and singing with him as we walked the streets of Villa Olga, an upper middle class area of Santiago, Dominican Republic. I would say that I was never happier in my mission that I was with him. It was the best time of my mission and one of the most successful times as well. I really love this friend. With other roommates I tried to replicate what he and I had with no success. I think that sometimes connections just ARE - maybe it is what you call chemistry. Lest anyone make any mistake - I am straight. He and I are more than friends though: we are friends who can go seven years and not really "go" anywhere. WE are still here. WE don't require long explanations of how things are, or deep discussions to catch up. It was like no time had passed. We just met for a late lunch and talked and then walked in the city. It could have been only seven days instead of seven years since we did that last. That is how it felt. There were no obstacles at all. It was nice. It is nice. I am glad that that exists. I say that he and I are more than friends because I know that that sort of thing doesn't happen very often. I am the only person he is still in touch with from the mission. He is the only person I am really still in touch with as well. If I were to meet other roommates from that time period I know that a lot of things have changed between us.
Jodi Picoult, in her book Songs Of The Humpback Whale, talks about that rare type of connection in these words:
"This is a God-woven thread. You cannot change it; you cannot fight it. The
person is not necessarily your wife or your husband, your long term-lover. It
may not even be a good friend. In many cases it is not someone with whom you
spend the rest of your life. I would hazard a guess that ninety percent of all
people never find the other person. But those lucky few, those very lucky few,
are given the chance to grab the brass ring."
I don't know exactly what "the brass ring" is; I didn't actually read the book. If you have, maybe you could fill me in on this detail (and to those who comment, thanks in advance!). Still, I feel like one of those lucky few. I would say that I have that sort of connection, although it is different in each case, with maybe three people. I am grateful for them. Thank you, friends.

Are you one of the lucky few?



  1. I am glad that you guys hung out. I was hoping that you would. That quote is great! I have that type of connection with my friend, Todd. I would also say that Jeni and I are friends like that, but while I was reading your post, and, most especially, that quote, I thought, "I would like to share that quote with Todd." Somehow, knowing that my husband and I both have friends like this makes my friendship with Todd, which has always been difficult to explain, seem perfectly okay and for that, I am grateful.
    I love you and we miss you.

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