So I went.
It was scheduled from 9:00am to 9:30pm and I bailed around 2:30. I found that five hours was plenty this go-around. And the “spiritual meeting” was last on the agenda — and was something that I had no desire to see, hear or feel.
I ran into several close companions and mission buddies — Rodriguez, Emerick, Brino, Serra, Neves, Homolka and Gava and it was truly a great experience. I felt so welcomed and we all shed a few tears, choked on a few laughs and shared remembrances.
This emotional pleasantness reminded me that real relationships are built on trust, mutual respect and friendship — and that those outlast and outweigh anything built solely on mutually-shared beliefs.
While I was asked several times if I was, “married, have children?” I responded that I was not married and had no children. And then came the , “Were you ever married?” followed by, “Just didn’t find the right one?”
I happily agreed that they had hit it on the head and we left it at that. This was not the time nor place to discuss my sexuality or my relationship with my honey. Those who are my friends on Facebook should have already figured it out — and seem to have no problems with “it” or me (and four of these are listed above).
Only one former missionary and his wife asked me, “So, Elder, are you still “firm” in the church?” — fully expecting that I would say yes.
When I responded, “No.” they actually flinched and then he said, “That makes me very sad”.
I responded that I was very happy and that he had no reason to be sad on my behalf.
They both thought carefully for a moment and then we continued our conversation in another direction, with me not perceiving any appreciable change in how they were treating or talking to me.
I had expected the worst today and was willing subject myself to this reunion in order to gut-check my own feelings, beliefs and emotions.
I did okay.