Monday, May 9, 2011

Deeper than Blood

Most people that know me, are aware that Mother’s Day is a day of mixed and, usually, loaded emotions. This year was no different. Mother’s Day was the last time I spoke to my mom before she passed away, a few days later (that was three years ago) . A couple of my dear friends have made the anniversaries memorable. I want to say a few words of tribute to a select few friends who mean the world to me.

Beginning with Jake, a husband, and a self-employed business man, is my best friend in the world – not discounting the others on this list – he has seen me at my best and my worst and understands me in a way that cannot be taught. There is no truth that this man hasn’t heard from my lips and we’re like brothers for it – he gets me in a way I don’t allow others to see. Thank you for being there for me through moments of darkness and joy – I never feel the need to hide anything from you.

Continuing with Kellie; she’s a bright young woman that humbles me with her heart every day. If Jake has the eyes of truth in my life, Kellie has the heart that can beat for others when theirs cannot beat. She would say I give her too much credit, but I have to give credit where credit is due. The power of Kellie’s heart for others is awe-inspiring and humbling. I don’t have half the heart she does. Kellie’s heart defines her and has been a source of lifeblood for me (and others I’m sure). Thank you Kellie for making this Mother’s Day special; I couldn’t ask for a better, more dedicated, friend than you.

Allegorically, Jake is the eyes, Kellie is the heart, and Austin is the laughter in my body of friends. Austin and I have traveled a similar road, which allows him to understand parts of my life differently from anyone else. Humor and laughter is what brings our interconnectedness together. Thank you, man, for having faith in my ability to do ministry when I felt like the Church left me out-to-dry and thank you for all the laughter you bring to my life.

Additionally, my body of friends has its eyes, its heart, its laugh, and its voice of artistry. David (aka the good looking Jew) lives in my world of dreams: he can sing, he’s an amazing musician, and he’s happily married. Because David has lived out some of my dreams, he understands my desire to creatively express myself better than anyone. He inspires me to keep seeking my dreams.

Frankly, one can’t have eyes that see, a heart that feels, a laughter full of joy, and a voice that creates without a mind. Lance is the friend – more than all others – who brings intellect to my life. I would say Lance is smarter than me, but he usually tells me to “shut up” when I say that and provides a counter argument. The one thing I have never forgotten about Lance is how he made the first Mother’s Day after my mom’s death memorable. He had the presence of mind to just sit and talk with me (much like Kellie had the presence of heart this year to do the same). As the mind, Lance comprehends where I’m at in life, while raising the intellectual bar. Thank you, brother.

Graciously, the conscience that helps to keep all the other elements in check is Jeff. I like to think of Jeff as the guy who brings me down to earth, with a loving ability to challenge me towards growth. Jeff is, unquestionably, a blessing in my life. Thank you Jeff for all you do!

Exemplarily, Scott is the wisdom in my life. I’m the type of person that doesn’t like to take advice from others – even if I ask for it – and Scott has shared enough wisdom in my life that I try to never overlook the raw authenticity of what he speaks into my life. He fostered my faith as a youth, he’s cared for me like a second dad, and he’s become one of the guys. Scott’s been around for almost every major event in my life, helping shape who I am today – his wisdom is irreplaceable. Thank you brother!

In love and respect, I would not be who I am or survived where I’ve been without these people. I love Jake because I never have to lie to him or hide from him – he truly meets me where I’m at without any expectation – Jake is totally unconditional as a friend. I only hope I’ve been half as good in return.

In juxtaposition, I love and appreciate Kellie’s friendship because the heart has what it takes to help one feel, to be humble, and to sacrifice for others Kellie has been amazing at bringing out my heart. It’s not easy for someone, like me, to say that a nineteen-year-old young woman has what it takes to humble me in the most sincere and gentle ways. Kellie – and the heart that defines her – is a walking source of inspiration in my life.

Similarly, I love Austin because he gets to see me as a professional colleague and in the most relaxed settings. Together, we’re like youth, playfully, making the best of our journeys through life.

Likewise, I love David because he always knows where to find the best in me. He’s talented and good looking – just like me – but really draws out the best of my artistic desires.

Correspondingly, I love Lance because he understands the true gift of my mind and the most dangerous one of my mouth. However, he intellectually and lovingly challenges me to excel with these gifts – he raised the bar for how I think, by challenging my prior views.

Furthermore, I love Jeff because I think of him as an inspiration for balance in my life – he’s the kind of guy that can talk you through chaotic spots – and he lives out good ethics in a way that gets my attention (no pressure, man, it’s a part of your nature).

Last, but not least, I love Scott because without his imparted wisdom, I was lacking direction in my life for a long time – wisdom is the crux of life.

I love and thank you all for being my friends; it’s hard to single out who my best friends are (whether on this list or not) because every friend I have brings something special to my life. Nonetheless, these individuals stand out because they bring forth the very best of who I am – in spite of the worst of who I am – they are impossible not to love!

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