An Adventurous Friendship

by Rene Lape, Herb Lape, Kaitlyn Pawlukojc, and Adam Waywell
Westbury Meeting


Herb and Rene Lape met Kaitlyn Pawlukojc (and eventually her partner Adam Waywell, now her husband) when she attended a Westbury Meeting for Worship. In conversation at hospitality, it became clear that we all shared a common love of adventure: the physical kind — sailing, hiking, camping, etc — as well as the spiritual kind too; a life of faith that transcended our differences in age and life stages. Whether we are on the sea, in the woods, or just sharing meals, we feel connected to the same Spirit that animates and sustains all life,and we feel close because of it.


An early bonding experience was a sailing trip we made together in very challenging conditions — strong following winds with 6 foot waves on the Long Island Sound, heading home to safe harbor. We each contributed our gifts in meeting this challenge, the most important being a common faith that the boat, our skills, and God’s grace would bring us home safely. It was very exhilarating. Another was our frequent sharing of Shabbat meals that are part of Adam’s Jewish tradition. But both of our homes provide opportunities to share our different faith traditions while providing ample time to share with each other how our faith has helped us deal with personal struggles, vocational decisions, communal conflicts, family issues, marriage, political polarization, justice, individual and social responsibility. It wasn't long before we were introduced to members of Kaitlyn’s family and became involved with the gatherings that culminated in Adam and Kaitlyn’s wedding. We also tried contra dancing together, but not everyone is called to dancing of this sort!


While we have become ever closer, that doesn’t alter the fact that our two households are at very different stages of life. The Lapes are retired, both having had a very clear call to being teachers and the satisfaction of having played their part. They have a comfortable life. Adam and Kaitlyn are still seeking greater clarity and stability in this area of life vocations. The Lapes have been married for a long time and mostly worked out or overcome the inevitable tensions. Adam and Kaitlyn are just starting on this tremendous adventure. The danger for the Lapes is for them to just sit in the comfort of a safe harbor and bask in the memories of their past adventures and for them to be disconnected with the changed world that younger people must confront. The tremendous reward of friendship across the generations is that it reminds you that you are still part of the great human adventure and still have something to learn and to contribute to helping others to build the Peaceable Kingdom.