There’s a guy I know who thinks he’s old. I don’t think he’s old, but he certainly knows a lot of things.
He’s a well educated man (now practicing law from a home office) who wakes up each day around 4 in the morning, works out on his exercise bike, then drinks coffee and reads the entire San Francisco Chronicle (in the old school paper format!). After he reads the Chronicle he sits at his MacBook and reads other news websites. And on most days he will check my blog to see if I have written something new.
This is my best friend’s dad. I met him when I was 17 and I was the drummer in his daughter’s mildly successful punk rock band. He and his wife came to our shows, made us dinner, and supported our musical dreams. They even supported us in our musical failures–like when the band was robbed and I didn’t even have the $60 to buy a bus ticket to get me out of Texas and back to northern California.
In my early 20s my very eccentric mother “ran away” to live on an Native American Indian reservation and didn’t leave any way for my brother and sister and I to contact her. As the world my mom left behind crumbled (including debts and owned properties) I felt it my responsibility to “handle” things. It was a complicated time. I didn’t know what to do… I just wanted to “call an adult”. I called my best friend’s dad. He never sugar coats the things he says–he is straight forward. He told me I couldn’t save anything of my mom’s–it wasn’t my responsibility to pick up her pieces.
When I was 26 I got a wild idea to buy a house. I thought I knew what I was doing, but when I started talking to my best friend’s dad he asked the tough questions about the mortgage and the loan rate. He found out that it was an adjustable rate mortgage and told me the truth. He told me not to buy the house, that the lender I was dealing with was shady because he wasn’t giving me exact numbers. I walked away from the deal a little sad–but geez! Can you imagine now if I bought that house with the adjustable rate mortgage? He saved my ass. (With his advice and approval I bought a condo two years.)
Around this same time my best friend’s mom was going through a battle with ovarian cancer. My best friend’s dad devoted this time in his life to researching every possible clinical trial for his wife. They met with doctors all over the country and tried numerous experimental surgeries, but his wife eventually passed peacefully from this world.
And then two years ago I had a big ass seizure that landed me in the hospital. Upon hearing the news and finding out that I had a “mass” in my brain, my best friend called her dad. He was in town the next day–asking the important medical questions, demanding answers, advocating on my behalf (because I was too out of it to know what was going on). He stayed up at night doing research on his laptop. He had me fill out DNR forms, had me assign a power of attorney, I eventually set up a will. He taught Brett how to be a caregiver. He taught us how to be observant. I became an inquisitive patient. He coordinated with my friends to help keep my medical insurance going even though I became unemployed.
We’ve spent so much time on the phone over the past two years you’d think I would have developed another brain tumor by now due from all the cell phone radiation.
Why am I typing all of this?
Bob: I want to ask you an important question.
Will you do me the honor of escorting me down the aisle for my wedding on Sunday, October 3, 2010?
P.S. When I first met Bob I didn’t know how to eat the meat off a pork rib–and now I am a pro.