Three years ago, while I was updating my blog I received a comment during my posting. I don't ever remember before receiving a comment while posting my blog before or since. I answered the comment.
The comments answered my comment immediately. So I answered him again.
We went back and forth for a few more comments then I asked him if he had an Apple computer. He said he did. I asked him if he used FaceTime. He said he didn't. He didn't know how to use it.
I suggested that we continue our conversation via FaceTime. I told him how to use FaceTime and we connected.
Who was this person who connected with me? He was (is) from Toronto Canada. He had never read my blog before. He found my blog after seeing a photo of me on the Internet in connection with me testifying before the Delaware State legislature for marriage equality.
|The picture Pat saw of me on the Internet at the Delaware State Legislature testifying for Marriage Equality|
He said he wanted to know more about me. He did an Internet search and found my blog.
After that first connection I casually suggested that if he ever visited Delaware we should have an old time photo taken.
|Me and Pat at Old Time Photo|
This suggestion is one I have made often to friends who visit me in Delaware. I didn't give much thought that he would take me up on my offer. But much to my surprise he said he would "love" to visit me in Delaware. He said he was just retiring from his job and wanted to take a long delayed vacation.
|Pat at his retirement party|
He made plans to visit me the following week. I was surprised but ever the gracious host I made reservations for him at a local hotel (not the one where I work) in Lewes.
|Pat in his Fiat leaving Casa-Tipton Kelly|
The Friday that he drove down from his home in Toronto, he called me and told me that they didn't have a reservation for him at the hotel! What? I didn't know him so I didn't feel comfortable asking him to stay at Casa-Tipton Kelly. I told him I would drive down to the hotel parking lot so we could figure something out.
I drove to Lewes, crossed over the canal bridge and took the left turn into the hotel parking lot. I see this guy approaching my car. I'm thinking he's the parking lot attendant going to give me grief about parking there. I moved my car. He follows me. Again, he approaches my car. I give him a "look" and I'm ready to do battle. I'm thinking of all the people who park in the hotel parking lot where I work and I don't give them grief, and this guy is going to give me grief? Well, you guessed it. The "parking lot attendant" was Pat, my Internet friend.
|Pat in the parking lot Beacon Motel parking lot August 16th, 2013|
Thus began, on that late afternoon of Friday, August 16th, 2013, a friendship that I have been looking for all my life.
|Pat in front of Half Full in Lewes the day I met him August 16th, 2013|
Turns out the hotel where we originally made the reservation made a mistake, his reservation was for the following night. We got him a room for the night at another hotel in Lewes. At least Pat would have to sleep on a park bench.
I've been very lucky in my life with friends. I have several long time friends since my elementary school days with whom I am still in touch. I have longtime friends from my previous workplaces. And of course I am in a long term relationship with Bill, my partner/spouse of fifty-two years. But all my life I have searched to that person who was a lot like me. Someone with whom I have a lot in common. And, of course, someone who I found good-looking. Hey, I like good-looking guys. That's the way I am folks.
|Pat in front of his hotel in Lewes, DE August 2013|
After I met Pat in that Lewes hotel parking lot three years ago, I knew he was someone special. Someone with whom I could share the remaining years of my life. Someone who would not be judgmental of me. Someone who could put up with me. I'm not the easiest person to get along with folks. Believe it or not.
So folks, today I wish my Best Friend Forever, Pat a very happy anniversary. I hope we have many more happy days Pat!
|Me and Pat at the Marathon Grill, Philadelphia, PA|