For the month of November I’ve decided to post each day about a person or people who have influenced my life for good. There’s no way I could include each and every person in one month or even one year, and for that I hope you’ll forgive me. This year, especially, has brought an acute awareness of the kindness and generosity which surrounds me and my kids, so here’s one attempt at giving thanks.
22 – Josh
Josh and I had been kind of friends-in-law for years, with casual and friendly, though infrequent, interaction.
Long ago he sent me this kind message about something I had written: ‘So I had to give the Elders quorum lesson today (and my wife taught RS) about the "Like a Broken Vessel" talk Elder Holland gave last conf. We both used some quotes from your blog about that talk. Especially your description about what depression feels like. It was powerful and beautiful and so eloquently written. There was a brother in my class who suffers from several mental illnesses, the least of which is depression and he said he'd never heard a better or more accurate description. So thanks for being you and for putting good out into the world and being great. And for making my lesson better.’ I’ve never forgotten how touching and validating that was, and how kind of him to have reached out to share that with me.
Then almost a year ago he reached out like this: ‘Hey! I saw your post today. Are you getting a divorce? So am I. I am actually gay.’
We didn’t know it at the time, but that was the beginning of #DivorceClub, which is just the two of us getting together whenever we feel like it, sharing good food and conversation. For both of us, divorces were finalized this year.
Josh has a fantastic eye and mind for design. He knows all the best television and draws appropriate parallels between tv and life when the situation calls for it. He’s kind and honest. He’s a loving and thoughtful dad, and he’s even a great dog owner, which surprises no one more than him.
I love that he’s up for going to lunch or dinner or a movie or The Big Gay Broadway Singalong or a rally at a moment’s notice. He’s both an introvert AND an extrovert, something he’s working through. Oh, and he’s a caterer and his food is OUTSTANDING. You should hire him for your events (check out @batterandwhisk on Instagram).
I’m really grateful for Josh and for our friendship. Our lives are so similar and so different, but I know I can count on him for hope and support and perspective. And laughter. And suggestions for what to listen to (hint: probably #HAMILTON). Being where I am in my life feels less lonely with Josh to talk with about it. I look forward to seeing what life has in store for him. It’ll be greater than he can imagine.
Thanks, Josh. I love you.