A letter from a friend

I’ll be honest, this blog has been plenty one-sided.  It’s written by me, so it stands to reason that there is more written from the perspective of a wife who is terrified, no scared shitless,  that she will lose the love of her life.  It’s a daily battle I have with my thoughts to not go there.  Honestly, I have written so little about what Kevin is going through.  Partly, it’s because honestly, that man is a rock.  I talk to him and ask, “Are you scared?”  He says, “Yeah, a little.  But it is what it is.  We’re going to do what we can and see how it plays out.  And pray.  Let’s definitely pray.”

And then he’ll explain some scriptural theological pneumatological doctrine about times in the Bible when God has changed His mind based on the prayers of righteous men.  He’s studied this well and begins to discuss the intricacies of the different doctrinal interpretations and I interrupt (I always seem to interrupt) and say, “Yeah, you’re right.  Let’s pray some more.”  And we do.

I ask him, “Are you worried about how hard the treatment is going to be?”  And he says, “Well now I am, thanks a lot!”  And we laugh and I cry, and then we try not to think too much about it.

One of Kevin’s best friends who he grew up with, his best man in our wedding, a dear friend now to both of us, posted this today to his facebook wall.  I didn’t ask his permission to share it, but you can kick my ass about it later if you want, Iain.  Thank you for sharing your heart.  Iain, I couldn’t have said it better myself.

I’m not usually a positive person.

 

My sense of sarcasm and trepidation forbid me from assuming “all is well” in any case or circumstance.  It’s a defense mechanism, but the underlying issues which brings that about, as well as any other thing about me is meaningless in this case.  This is about someone else.  This is about a friend.   A man, that I love dearly; and how the love and faith in that man and He who made him, makes me for once in my embittered life, believe, have faith, and think more positive than I ever have.

 

It’s so easy to feel sorry for yourself when you find out that someone has Cancer.  “How will I get along?…how will I live without them if?….what if that happened to me?….what if…”  My love for this person takes me beyond that though.  One of the greatest men I’ve ever known.  Not a highly successful business man, nor a doctor, or lawyer or even a government official.  I know many of those sorts, and they pale in comparison.  I love him, because he’s always loved me.  Is that selfish?  I don’t think so.  Sometimes it takes knowing, and seeing what real love is, to recognize it, and reciprocate.  I love him because despite my innumerable flaws, my poor sense of humor, my incessant questioning of all that is human and/or spiritual, and my acute ability to break his heart, he has never stopped loving me, praying for me, and hoping that one day I’ll grow up.  He isn’t alone, but he’s general’d this battle longest and most fiercely.

 

To define us, I look for a word.  I look for a word to quantitatively express who he and I are together.   Friend has no definition strong enough to link us together.  Companion is too gay, and really just lacks the depth.  No, I call Kevin my brother, not for lack of a better word either.  Both of us being only children, and growing up the way we did, we look out for one another just like brothers do.  We love each other in that way as well.  His very person is embedded in me.  I feel as though when I look in the mirror, there is a part of him looking back at me (the less handsome part of course).

 

He’s plain and simply my sanity, because he is the most level and methodical person I’ve ever known.   I recall once telling him how best to look at relationships with girls, a certain one at that time.  These sorts of things came much easier to me, though I must say that I tended to evolve me theories as I went.  Kevin apparently pondered this for over a year and came back to tell me he thought I was correct… a year later.  I had subsequently moved on to other ideas and theories by that time, having forgot that conversation completely, but was nevertheless amazed how he took those words and considered them for that long.

 

That is Kevin: considerate.   A trait that took some time for me to learn through him, but which pours out from him.  He isn’t the “send you a card when you are down” type, or even really the kind to open a door for you.  It’s at the heart of life matters where my dearest friend pulls his weight.  When he listens, he really listens.  When he advises, he’s thought and prayed and read books on the matter to be sure you get what you need to hear.  If you are blessed enough to have Kevin your friend, then you are plain, simply, and overwhelmingly, loved.

 

It has to be quite obvious that he evokes a positive response when ever he is the subject in question.  He’s not without his own hangups.  His stubbornness is unparalleled, and his hair… well there simply no words for that debacle.  It’s like God thought that Brillo-pads were not coarse enough, and figured he’d one-up himself.  His follicle excrement aside though, Kevin does in fact bring a smile to peoples faces, or at least those who know him in any capacity.  He IS positive.  He thinks the best of people always, he believes always, and he loves always.  That stubborn refusal to become cynical is infectious.  I’m not going to go all Tony Robbins on the world, but one must at least acknowledge that some smaller battles have been won.

 

Upon hearing the “C” word, however, I froze.  Someone just pulled the plug out of bottom of my little pond and I simply didn’t know what to do.  Can my logic plug it back up?  I’m not an oncologist, so, no.  Can I offer words of encouragement?  If you’ve ever been in a dark or perilous situation with my by your side, you know I offer little in that regard.  I tend to make light of the situation with humor (naming enlarged organs, or offering to race you and your wheelchair with one of my own).  Kevin didn’t need humor.  He’s always graciously laughed at the things I have said, but he rarely found solace in them.  I knew him well enough to know that my sick sense of humor offered little.

 

I didn’t call him, I waited.  Perhaps it was the underlying cynic in me that feared taking that last leap that he would have done without question, but I didn’t call.  Rumors on this coast are at fever-pitch among our church members, but I didn’t care.  I kept thinking that it’s going to be nothing, it’s “merely a flesh wound” as we would say.  After hearing that he was on his death bed from the guy at 7-11,  I finally broke down and called.  I needed to address the absurd rumors regarding my friend.  After a long talk, though: It’s not minor, and it’s not funny.

 

Another of my closest friends was put through the “C” word.  If you’re reading this, and know me and our circle of friends well enough, you know who it is.  He too called upon the sleeping “Kevin” within me.  The side of me that finds hope.  Not off of the effing internet, that’s for sure.  What a pit of endless despair!  No, we found hope in what we have given and received from each other.  Love…friendship… brotherhood.  We have things worth fighting for, worth hoping against hope that they can remain a little while longer, and bring us strength to stand together.

 

All any of us have to offer him is what is reflected in each of us , of each other, and what we reflect of the only ONE that can truly strengthen us.  Any reflection of myself and my group of friends sounds like a scary image, personally, but there it is.    Measured, reasoned, and most importantly, faithfully positive in our thoughts.  This comes more easily to me than I thought it would, and has amazingly enough plugged the hole.  As brothers we face this together.  As a brother I will pray as I have never before.  I will fight though 4000 miles away.  I will fight as Kevin would for me.  I only hope I can do it as well as he can.

 

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6 thoughts on “A letter from a friend

  1. Beautiful! You have an amazing friend Kevin. You ARE an amazing man and I (we) are honored to be part of your family! We love you dearly!!!

  2. DEAREST Rachel and Kevin:
    I am praying for you and your family. Reading Iain’s gorgeous letter brought home how essential the love of friends is in this life. And both of you have exemplified how to be a true friend. Now it’s our turn to return that gift of love and friendship.
    Sincerely,
    Ashley (Rush) Lloyd

    Proverbs 17:17
    A friend is always loyal, and a brother is born to help in time of need.

  3. Two pure expressions of brotherhood captured by a photographer with a keen eye for the candid…I’m fortunate to have enjoyed their company, and continue to benefit from their online musings. My best thoughts and wishes to your entire family.

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