I am somewhere over Ohio on a big Airbus plane with six seats across. I have three seats all to myself as the fasten your seat belt sign was turned off. We were advised to remain seated in case of unexpected turbulence.
So naturally people are moving throughout the cabin. The connection from my Milwaukee to Chicago flight was so quick I wasn’t able to charge my cell phones. It was much different from when I traveled east for mom’s 90th birthday. Delay after delay finally forced me to rent a car to drive the last 60 miles. It was ridiculous. But today there was none of that.
In the fall, I was in a new relationship and struggling with repair bills from my old car. And my companion and I experienced a type of metaphorical unexpected turbulence. We survived a painful time because of our commitment to one another. Now I am on my second vacation of the year and Milwaukee is warming up after a frigid stretch of below freezing days. Lizzy will be driving our little car and the cat will be doing backflips without me being there to tell him go side down somewhere.
I am grateful for the companionship from Lizzy and the cat because they help distract me from my electronic devices. There has never been a cat that did not decide the perfect time for sitting on your lap was whenever you begin to read a book. I get endless pleasure seeing Mickey distract Lizzy from her reading. We three are a cozy little group, with Mickey’s pink nose, Lizzy’s laughter and caring and my wonderfully smooth skin. Thanks mom. We are set for the next turbluence.
We have spent one memorable year together.. It’s been a time of growth and change in the mental health system that we have explored together. We are a vital part of the Recovery Advisory Committee that has guided the implementation of Comprehensive Community Services. This Medicaid benefit could potentially speed the recovery of people in Milwaukee County. It may seem strange or unromantic talking about the work that brought us together but that work is an outgrowth of our values, the things that we are about.
We are people who came of age during our nation’s darkest hour, mired in a horrible war in Southeast Asia that killed hundreds of thousands and continues to kill Americans, Vietnamese and so many more. But we didn’t stop with the idea that our country was on the wrong track. We have set out to help people through compassion and service. That is what made us a couple.
This year has included sadness and challenge, the death of a cat and our growth as people. I am the man you were seeking. I am not one of those sappy granola eating guys who will moon over you all day long. I am a lucky oddball who has been fortunate to find someone who matches my various quirks and eccentricities. May the next 40 years be as much fun as the first as we continue the search for intelligent life in Wisconsin
This is one of those time when waiting and looking for a sweet little atheist really paid off. I am always saddened when I read these stories of atheists complaining that they somehow can’t find non-religious people to have as partners and friends. I think they simply need to keep looking. I’m glad that I did.