Monday, August 13, 2012

Amazing Moments on... an Elevator?!

Rachel and I will finish telling "our story", but I have to fast forward to now. This past weekend we went to San Francisco to attend the Circling the Wagons Conference.  The entire weekend was amazing, but it was capped by a moment that was, for lack of a better word, a "tender mercy" in the truest and most incredible sense.  You see, Rachel and I have just started the process of coming out, starting with our families a little over a month ago.  We've both been craving the chance to talk to others and just be us, fully and completely, no hiding, no explaining, just being.  It's been an emotional roller coaster, and along the way it seems like just the right person has been there at just the right time.

So, after a great weekend Rachel and I were getting ready to check out of the hotel.  We double checked the room to make sure nothing was being left behind and then headed out to the elevator.  We boarded the elevator on the 11th floor surrounded by several people and started downwards.  Then, we stopped on the 5th floor to pick up one last couple.  As they stepped into the elevator, one girl stepped into the small space between the door and me, and as I looked up and saw her face I recognized her instantly.  It was *Mo*, a good friend from junior high through high school who I hadn't seen in 10 years.  Just after the last time I saw her at another friend's wedding, she sent me an email and came out.  Now Facebook friends, I saw the pictures from her wedding earlier this year.  Lately I've kept thinking how much I want to talk with Mo, and then, just like that, she's inches away from my face in a random elevator in a city hundreds of miles away from either of our homes.

Elevator Buttons
Image by chriscardinal on Flickr

After a long hug and a "What are you doing here?" I introduced her to my sweetheart by saying, "This is my girlfriend Rachel."  And just like that I came out of the closet to someone from another time in my life whose first interaction with Rachel was a full acknowledgement of who she is to me. Mo then introduced me to her lovely wife.  After exiting the elevator to quickly catch up some more, Mo said, "Welcome to the club," with a smile on her face. And I knew that she understood something of what I've been feeling and experiencing, because she's been there before. And she's come out on the other side of this tunnel. We talked for a few minutes and I felt myself literally shaking at the craziness of seeing her there in Oakland, but even more at the fact that I saw her now at this point in my journey.  Even now as I write this I feel overwhelmed and excited.  I look forward to reconnecting with her and talking with her more than the time constraints of yesterday permitted.  And I feel like there just may be someone, some higher power, somewhere, who is looking out for me.  A tender mercy indeed.


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