May You Be Well — WNC, May 2021

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May You Be Well

by Tami Kamin Meyer, Editor of Write Now Columbus
This post also appeared in Write Now Columbus, May 2021.

Writing has been a huge part of my life for nearly four decades. It has afforded me unique and cherished opportunities like meeting and interviewing baseball legend Hank Aaron, interviewing and subsequently befriending best-selling authors like Brad Meltzer and Neal Karlen and visiting destinations throughout the US for various travel articles.

But, my absolutely most coveted reason I am thankful to be a writer is that it brought Bradley Wayne McFarland into my life.

Newly divorced in early 2013, I decided to look for a new platonic friend on the now-banned Craigslist’s section for people seeking new pals. One post, in particular, caught my attention.

The headline read: “Writer/Editor Wanted.”

Why was someone advertising a writing opportunity in the platonic section of Craigslist, I thought to myself.

Of course, I clicked on the ad. As a freelance writer and editor, I’m eternally searching for new opportunities, even if my calendar is full and my brain exploding. That’s what we do. We hustle. We scour for the next opportunity.

I opened the page and was immediately struck by the two color photographs this would-be employer posted of himself in the post. “Why would an employer post their picture?” I thought to myself. On the other hand, he was incredibly handsome, so my interest was definitely piqued.

His note explained how he had a story in mind for a book he had been trying to write, but he didn’t know anything about the publishing industry. Nor editing. Nor writing, for that matter.

Knowing I was qualified to help, I responded to his ad, regaling him with my various qualifications and eagerness to assist. However, I also knew how adorable I thought he was, and how that would definitely be distracting for me. While I would not advise this to anyone else, I added the following to the end of my introductory email: “If you are gay or married, please do not respond. You are too cute to work with.”

Much to my surprise, he answered quickly. We exchanged phone numbers to discuss the opportunity further, and then made plans to meet that evening to delve deeper.

We met at a coffee shop on North High Street in Columbus that since became a Mexican restaurant that among our favorite eateries.

He walked in and strode confidently towards me. I stood up to greet him and started to hold out my right hand to shake his, but his right hand did not meet mine. Instead, he placed it delicately in my small of my back, pulled me close and kissed me, full on the lips.

I distinctly recall my reaction, having just been kissed by a gorgeous stranger I thought was going to interview me for a job. I stepped back and said, “Hey, what kind of job am I interviewing for, anyway?” His sparkly blue eyes shined and he smiled as he sat in a chair next to the couch where I had been sitting a moment before. Momentarily, he seemed in a trance. He was slowly rubbing his palms on his thighs back and forth as he quietly and repeatedly murmured, “Thank goodness that’s over with. Now I can be myself.”

I laughed. “Well, what would I have gotten if you didn’t like what you saw?” I asked, smiling.

Without skipping a beat, he responded, “You would have gotten a hug.”

That was my beloved Brad.

I met Brad on May 3, 2013. We dated exclusively from that kiss on, and enjoyed a healthy, supportive and happy relationship for which I am eternally grateful. He was my best friend, greatest cheerleader and one of the funniest people I’ve ever met.

Horrifically, Brad died suddenly on May 3, 2019 while we were in New York City celebrating our sixth anniversary. We had traveled to my favorite city in the world, one that was growing on my rural-loving boyfriend, to enjoy Broadway, stuff ourselves with yummy dumplings in Chinatown and more.

May 3 will be bittersweet to me for the rest of my life. Brad isn’t here to support me in the physical world, but I still feel his love and encouragement. He consistently wanted the best for me, which made me believe I deserved it. It also became our little joke that no, I never did help him write that book, but he was going to stick around to see if I ever would.

While certainly I would much rather Brad be here with me than being my Angel in Heaven, meeting him because I happen to be a writer empowers me to continue on the path that led me to him in the first place.

(c)Tami Kamin Meyer, 2021, all rights reserved

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