My caregiver friend and I have been friends for about 2 1/2 years. Despite the difference in our life experiences and lifestyles, we bonded over some common things…like care giving, divorce and shared acquaintances.

If you saw my friend, with his hippy-biker style, you might think he was tough, rough. You would be wrong. He is polite, considerate and gentle. Sometimes, a little goofy.

He is the most naturally kind person I have ever met. He took wonderful care of his mother. He treated her gently and lovingly, even when he didn’t feel very well himself.

I always knew this was a friendship just for a time, this care giving time, while we were both traveling this parallel road. My journey on the care giving highway is never going to end. Oh, I’m not stuck in the 24/7 express lane; no, I’m in the local lane with frequent exits and little curving access roads. Since my daughter is not living at home, I can veer away from the care giving highway for brief side trips. I just can’t stray very far.

My friend, who had been stuck in the express lane of constant care, has now, after the death of his mother, been able to exit that road entirely. He looks forward to new and distant adventures…Just as soon as the weather is motorcycle appropriate.

I am very happy for him; he is free to go wherever he wants and is no longer responsible for anyone else. I don’t think I remember that feeling.

I wish him the best – I hope that he will be as kind to himself as he was to his mother. He deserves that.

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