Answer the Question – Recovering Friendships

I will make this one quick and yes, indeed, I think this might sound a bit sappy. But sappy or not, I will report this to you out of love and solidarity.
Over the years I have been fortunate to create new friendships. Some of these friendships are actually old connections from back in the days of crazy nights and memorable mischiefs, which took place in a town called East Meadow.
However, our paths have either crossed again or maybe it’s safe to say that our friendship was reborn in our later years.

For example, there’s my oldest friend in the world, Kevin.
There’s the life that we lived through which was parallel yet neither of us knew this until we were much older. But in our youth, we were both wild. We had our ups and downs and ins and outs.
We came from the same town and perhaps we might have hung around on different corners, but we definitely chewed on the same dirt. We played in the same backyards and saw the same pitfalls.
I write this in fairness to the craziness of our youth; but more, I write this out of brotherly love as well as pride.
And yes, I am proud. 

I am proud because I have had the chance to watch a man grow into something heroic. I am proud to watch someone realize his place in this world. But more than this, I have been witness to a recovery and an overcoming of life at championship proportions; so great that a success like this goes beyond the comparison of financial gains or business.

It is amazing when we look back and think about our old life. Hence, the theme to this journals and the main question which is, “What the hell was I thinking?”
It is amazing to see what we, as people, will agree to when we are not at our best levels of understanding and then later we look back and think about the agreements we made.
We think about the times we submitted to a deal or a plea which was not in our favor.
Ah, but whether this was about life or divorce or business or success, it is amazing to see what we would endure when we lacked the ability to see our true worth.
We lacked the insight to see our true ability.
And then one day . . .
We come across a spark or a glimmer of light. This is the catalyst. This is something (or anything) that sheds light on our truth and wakes us up. I have been privy to this.

I am a witness to this connection of time and space; in which case, I was there when the light went on to watch a change take place. Since then, I have been around to see all types of changes.
I have seen growth and the overcoming of all kinds; from being a son, of being a man, of being a Father, of being the one who changed his own direction – I was there to see this.
I was there to see this person take hold of his own destiny; change his direction and win back all the details of his life which he had thought were lost.
But nothing was lost. It was just found.
Everything was found.

I can say that as a friend; I am blessed to see this. I can say that as a fellow man who happens to walk the same earth and as a person who comes from the same background and understands the same struggles. I am blessed to see the achievements of my oldest friend. But more, I can see the rewards of life. I can see the gains of change and the rites of passage that come with the principles of “Surrender to win.”

I have had very few honors in my life that reach this level. I have had the few moments when I was included in special times; but none more special than the time when I was able to stand at a podium to say, “I now pronounce you man and wife.
And there he was my friend, Kevin.

A man of change.
My friend and brother. 

Had it not been for our frequent phone calls, I’m not sure that I would be where I am right now.
I can say that had it not been for his support with my hopes of becoming someone more than what I was, I might not have had the belief in myself to take the steps and give this a shot.
It’s amazing to see how a question can change a person’s life.
It’s amazing to see the results when people come to their own conclusion. 

The question at the time was this: What do you want them to see?

I asked this question at the time of a loved one’s passing.
I asked this when a leader passed. This was a mentor and a savior to my friend in ways to which I asked the question: What do you want them to see now?
When they look down at you, how do you want them to see you?

I remember asking this question years ago.
The picture he has created is incredible.
Perhaps even more than he ever thought possible.

I wonder though.
I wonder if anyone knows how truly capable they are until they have no other choice but to walk through the fire and come out on the other side alive and well. 

I am a witness to this.
Proud as ever of you
My oldest friend and brother.

It needs to be said that I seldom, if ever, use names in my journal entries. I often change details and facts to hide or protect the anonymity of people – and yes, there are stories in which both he and I would shake our heads about and laugh. There are some more embarrassing ones which take place with old friends like Crazy Eddie.
There are the true details of our wild youth and then there’s music. Then there were the shows and a memory from a concert at the beach. And then there’s the fact that I was able to stand there, to see his children become rightfully proud of him, my best friend, my brother.

To the drummer of all drummers and to a friend who helped me enjoy the beats of life, I am placing this here to one day be printed as a testament of friendship because as of yet, I have never done anything like this before. But this –
But you

You’ve done too much and grown so far that this cannot go unsaid or unpublished.
So, about you my friend –

I raise my cup and say:
I know him.
I’ve run with him.
I’ve eaten with him
And I stand with him
Kevin

Who’d have thought two crazy kids from the neighborhood could come this far and look this good after all these years.
(Me! That’s who.)

Dear Kev,
Please tell Connor that one day, it’ll be on
Ice-fishing!

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