He made an appointment with me to discuss pre-need funeral arrangements - he is a funeral director now. I agreed and he came to my home for the first time since we left borgland three years back. In fact he had never seen our home, since we moved in the meantime.
We discussed the business at hand and then spent several hours talking about my leaving the organization, his attitudes toward me and that, the UN scandal, and a few other matters of that sort. We even went out to a restuarant and ate a meal together. I found out that he and his wife are missing alot of meetings now - he has some doubts in the back of his mind I think, of a far different nature than mine, but doubts all the same.
I tried to tread softly since I know he is teetering on how to deal with my exit - and we talked about that to some length also. I pumped up my religiousity pretty high to let him know that I was not an evil man now - though honestly I consider myself very 'spiritual' but not all that religious at this stage of my life - I wanted him to see that I had not left just over bitter feelings and so forth. So I made it a 'principled' exit in his mind - which it was - but I wanted no doubt. I spoke of Christ and the Father often, referred to scriptures. At one point he admitted that I seemed to know more about the doctrines and scriptures that refuted them than he did - and that it seemed solidly based. I left little opening for excusing the organization based on 'imperfection' though he still tried that tack a few times. I made oft references to 'this is how the Lord Jesus stated it', and then made it clear that just reading the Bible's words did not ring with the WTS's interps very often - the other sheep, the wheat and weeds, judging others as evil, disfellowshipping.... it was quite a conversation to say the least.
When we parted - I could see he did not want to go - I asked him how we stood as lifelong friends? He said he was trying to put a finger on that. I know he struggled with that since I left. As he parted I said - if I show up at your funeral home, will you ask me to leave, or act like a friend? He said he would not ask me to leave. My parting words, after a hug, were "Let's not throw 35 years away, shall we?" He nodded in agreement and left.
We have further matters to discuss regarding our business together, so I will be seeing him soon in that regard. In the meantime, he will have a few days to think about our discussions.
I was happy to have had the conversation and hopefully opened a few doors - after all is said and done - we won't have much in common anyway if he stays in - so however the chips fall they do. I am learning to live with losing friends and family to the borg - but hope that in this case it turns out differently. Actually, this guy is the only reason that I have not officially DA'd to this point. And I told him that. If I can salvage the friendship, if he determines to stay my friend in spite of the society's rules about it - that is a great victory for me and him.