Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Goodbye, K-man

Our good friend, Kevin, is gone. Not forever--thank goodness. For a year. In Mexico. Teaching English with the Marist Volunteers. He's a wholehearted Catholic. I think that's awesome.

Bob and I visited him on Friday night, the day before he flew out. Kevin is one of those rare friends with whom all the time you spend is quality; he never lets a moment filter through the sieve of idleness. That is perhaps one of the qualities I, and Bob, admire in him the most. That, and his tolerance and open-minded spirit towards new thoughts. I know with all my heart that he loves Jesus, but he is so unlike other conservative Christians that it is refreshing just to be around him. When we told him that we had gone vegan, I was at first taken aback that he didn't react with surprise. But then he commented later: "I just assumed you were vegan in the first place."

That night we watched with him Diarios de motocicleta, or The Motorcycle Diaries. What a good film. I knew nothing about Che Guevara before I watched it, but it made me really interested in him. Kevin, he has such a strong heart for Latin America--like Bob and I do for France. After the movie we took a long walk, and it was so fun to just hear him talk about the political situation in Cuba, as if he was an authority. I just drunk it all in. The night was warm and comfortable and dark, and it is always refreshing to share such times with friends. We got lost among the neighborhood streets, and followed our instincts eventually back to the right road home.

We stayed up talking so late. Bob had to leave early in the morning, but we ignored that fact as long as possible, just talking about all the world with our friend. He wants to start a commune in North Carolina, where his girlfriend has several acres of good fertile land. How much would Bob and I love that kind of life! We said we would join them, if they ever were able to get it in motion. As it is, I am stuck in a stuffy city with no room for a garden. Making my life and raising my kids in a rural place with good earth and friends would be an utopia for me... But Kevin is idealistic. Perhaps the commune will pan out one day.

Once we got back to his basement we talked about God and Cuba and mangos and everything in between. Finally it got really late, and I said we should probably go. I looked up at Kevin, who was sitting across the room, and said "We're going to miss you, Kevin." My voice broke. Then an amazing thing happened: Kevin came over to the couch where Bob and I were sitting, and the three of us just prayed and sat in silence and hugged and cried (well, maybe the crying was mostly me) and shared our hearts for several long, peaceful moments. We prayed blessings over one another. Praise God for friends like that.

Our hearts were so full when we left Kevin's house that night. It's so hard to say goodbye to someone with whom you have shared so many special times in your life. As we drove home, I thanked God that wherever Bob and I go in our lives, we will go side by side.

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