I remember roller skating to the song “Lean on Me” at the roller rink as a teen. It was what you did on Friday nights while you held some boys hand. It was the cool kid thing to do. It kept most of us out of trouble back then too. Kept us off the streets and out from drinking or doing drugs. It was a great loss when the roller rink shut down.
A lot of kids turned to drinking in my small town when the rink shut down. Parties in sheds and barns and the like. I remember some accidents on back gravel roads that were pretty bad. Families didn’t talk about it much. You kept such things hush hush. And then “Lean on Me” took on a different meaning for all of us.
We all depended on each other to just to get through high school. Growing up in a small town and getting through high school when there isn’t support is a difficult prospect. You don’t have the cultural “to dos” of the city… and people think small town living is this great thing… but tell that to the five kids that died by suicide in my small town that year. And there were only 22 in my graduating class.
Lean on me. I lean on Damian a lot. He’s my rock. When everyone else cracks and breaks down… Damian keeps going. He thinks he isn’t that strong, but he underestimates his own strength. No matter how tough things are… he keeps going and he never gives up. When I got sick last year in July and couldn’t be online for him, he stood by me. He waited until I was well and relied only on infrequent contact and didn’t give up on me.
Lean on me. Or more accurately… lean on him. I’ve leaned on him. I only hope that he feels he can lean on me.
Lean on me, Damian. You’ve been there for me.