A little over a week ago, just before my recent health issues, I got a phone call from my friend Donna. Donna is a waitress at the bowling alley where the LGBT bowling league, with which I bowled, up until this year, has bowled since its inception. She quickly became a friend to all of us, learning all of our names and becoming part of our “bowling family” if you will. Eventually, the friendship grew outside of the league and she and her husband attended a couple parties at Chez Breen (our former abode).
Donna always greets all of us with squeals and hugs, sometimes even tears. She literally burst with joy when she sees any of us. Every time. Whether it’s been a week or a month since she’s seen us. For her birthday, I gathered photos that had been taken throughout the bowling seasons and made a photo book that we ordered on line and gave to her at the birthday party we threw for her at the alley. She still tears up, to this day, about the book and the party and continues to thank us. She’s just good people, plain and simple.
The league did not bowl this summer, as it has in the past, so instead of the usual 2-3 week break during which none of us would see Donna, it has been a couple of months. She had indicated she would have a party this summer and invite us all, but apparently those plans fell through as she has invested all her time and money, this summer, on house repairs.
Anyhoo, as I was saying, Donna called me last week or so, talking with her usual flamboyancy, and apologized for being out of touch for so long. (I didn’t mind and felt no ill will. Life happens. We all get busy. It’s cool.) She said she missed everyone and wanted to see us all and suggested we plan a night of bowling and invite everyone. She picked a night and time, at our usual place, and I agreed to contact everyone (who is still talking to me and is still connected to me on Facebook, that is) that bowled with us and knew Donna, via a Facebook invite.
Then I got sick.
I haven’t been out of the house much and, as I’ve said, I’ve been living on V8 and Ensure, so my energy levels are low low low. As we grew closer to the night (last night) I worried I would not be up for the event and, honestly, worried more that Donna would be very disappointed if I did not show. (To be clear, I don’t believe nor mean to imply that Donna favors me over the others, but it was clear she very much wanted to see Jeffrey and me and, after all, I am the one she called.) Also, as I technically planned and organized the event, I felt an obligation to attend. Finally, Donna has been a good friend and support for me and our league and she deserved the effort of my being there. Hence, after my doctor’s appointment yesterday after work, (see? I could be talking about all THAT today but instead, I’m trying to find something different to discuss for a change) we rushed home, grabbed our balls – (I’ll wait until you get it out of your system……done? Good) – and headed out to the lanes.
There were 17 of us, total, 5 lanes and a lot of hugs and chat and squealing from Donna. (I mean it. She actually squeals.) She was thrilled so many people came. We haven’t seen many of these guys (and gals) in a while ourselves, and won’t see them in the fall as we are bowling with a different league, so it was good to see those that were able to come. My bowling was horrible (for three reasons: 1. I was [am] exhausted, weak and uncomfortable; 2. I was given a bunch of new techniques to use in my approach and throw by my friend, Matt, and it was only my second night trying to utilize all of them; and 3. I’m not really very good, regardless of the other two) but I didn’t mind too much. I was just happy to be out of the house, socializing, and getting in a little exercise. It was good for my mind, heart and mood. The body, not so much. I am exhausted and a little sore today, but I don’t have any regrets. It was a small outing but, for me, it was a victory among a week of losses.
And it made Donna really happy. That, alone, made it worth it.