When I left Louisville on Sunday night, I went to Shelbyville. It is a small town just south of Indianapolis. I got there Sunday night and met up with my friend, the Padre. I hadn’t seen him in about 5 years, but we picked up like I saw him just 2 weeks ago.
I met him back in NH, at a gym I used to go to for a short time. Just like a lot of people you see there after a while, you start talking to each other. Some time after that, I told him about how I was going to have a surgery, and I wouldn’t be around for a while. While I was at the hospital, a lot of my co-workers and friends came to see me and the Padre stopped by twice. He talked about taking me out for lunch after I get back home. Of course people say that sometimes, and nothing ever happens. Well, he did, not only once, but three times. For a while, it was the only time I got out of the house, I was so grateful. As I got better, and back to work less time went in between visits. But it was during one of those first 3 lunches, I asked him what he did for work. He told me he was a Priest. I didn’t believe him, I thought he was joking around. I thought he was too young to be a priest. Sure enough, a priest he was and still is! We had become good friends over the next couple of years, even though our lunches got a little less frequent. We got together whenever we could.
One day about 6 years ago in particular, I will never forget. I had seen an old Conn at a music store and I wanted it. It was over twice the cost of what the other one they had, I wanted that Conn. I met up with the Padre and we talked about it and it made sense to spend the extra money and get the Conn. He went with me to get her, and sure enough after looking at her again, it was clearly the right choice. As most of you know, that Conn’s name is Gilda. He was with me when she came to me and I asked the Padre if he would give her a blessing, sure enough, he did! It wasn’t long after that he had to move out of the area and eventually wound up in Shelbyville.
So fast forward to this past Sunday night. I got to his place and right away inquired if I was hungry. We went to get a sub and caught up over the 2 hours that seemed like 30 minutes! I stayed in a guest room he has until Wednesday morning. During that time, he was so busy with work, it is unbelievable the workload he has. He still found time to hang out with me for a little bit though. I am not Catholic, I wouldn’t even say I am religious but, I am definitely spiritual. I went to two of his masses while I was there. Including those, I have been to 4 in my life- and he has done 3 three of them! On Wednesday morning, after mass, I asked him for a blessing for Gilda and me while we are on the road. He said yes and I opened my sax case and took a knee and held Gilda up and received a most beautiful blessing from a great man- my friend, the Padre!
I never wanted for a thing for the 3 nights I was there, I was even able to watch Game 5 of the World Series! He is an excellent man on of the Clergy and the people in his parish absolutely love him and to me, it is pretty obvious why. Thank you again, Padre, for everything!