I met Don in the small food court in the mezzanine above United Check-in. It felt like no time had past since we spoke last although it had been quite a while. I gave no warning that I would be there for a few hours to change planes. I simply called him when I touched down and knew he would come if he could. He was in the terminal within 35 minutes. When we talk there are no introductions or small talk, just full speed ahead about the meaning of life, questions of life and death, coping with difficult situations, spirituality, God, and our beloved music. It is real and relevant from the word go. Borsch Belt humor, silly one-liners, stories told with a Yiddish accent, and George Carlin quotes all mixed with simple and profound truths about how messy life is, how life challenged us in ways we never expected, how 'right' decisions are never totally right, how nothing is totally black and white, how God is not some anthropomorphic white guy with a long beard, how we have to do what we have to do in life, how decisions often need to be made—knowing they will be unsatisfactory from some perspective, how one must call a spade a spade, how parents shouldn't take credit for their children's successes or all the blame for their failures, how a victimization mentality goes against how life works, how an ant on our finger can't perceive us fully and how we are more limited than the ant to perceive a divine being, how children must eventually stop blaming their imperfect parents and get on with their lives, how there are two types of religions: one that says we should become better people, do good and help each other, and another that has the 'truth' and all others are the enemies who will be damned, how all religions have some aspects of both, how the abused have a tougher road but still need to eventually get on with living, how the "QUESTION AUTHORITY!" bumper sticker should read "QUESTION EVERYTHING!" how doctors should be questioned constantly, how we can say we know what we would do in a situation until of course we are in it, how the human spirit is resilient, and how precious, frustrating and wonderful life is!
I offered to buy Don some refreshment, but he said he just wanted to talk. After 75 minutes we stood up because I had to hurry downstairs to catch my flight.
After a quick hug and a heartfelt 'goodbye', he was gone in a flash. I got through security and ran to my gate.