I can very honestly say that I have been more than blessed in my life with the love of FRIENDSHIP! For whatever reason, God has seen fit to place people in my life that have made, and continue to make, a lasting impact on my life. Obviously I have an AMAZING FAMILY! They certainly would top this list, as they should. But I want to take a moment to focus on those people outside of that family bond, and give them the credit they deserve.
For some of us, it may be that one person that can finish our sentence. That one who has been there for us when we have been failed, and when we have failed ourselves. That one who is there on those days where there really is nothing going on, and that’s just fine for the both of you. An investor, not in money, but in you. And, if you have held up your end at all, hopefully you have found a way build into them too!
I have been so much more than fortunate in the friend department. I have always been a part of a close-knit network that I call my friends. These people have stood the test of time. I value them. Regardless of the time apart, or the demands of the daily life that may put us in different places for any given amount of time, the fit is effortless, natural, and fun every time we find our way back together.
Every stage of my life has been impacted by people that have been there for me and made me a better person, shared my triumphs, and my FAILURES. They have seen the good and the bad in me, and decided I was worth enduring both.
My childhood friends at the bottom of the hill in Emerald Acres: They helped me to love sports, wrestling, video games, the value of squeezing every ounce of daylight from a summer day, and how to spend days on end with our only focus being what we could do next...TOGETHER.
The CABIN CREW: These guys are special. The guys that I have made memories with from middle school to the present. The guys that saw me date and then marry my wife, have kids, change jobs, grow older. The guys that have let me share in their memories, their peaks, and their valleys, their families, and THEMSELVES. The guys that I lived out so many days and nights under the same roof…just as excited to get the next adventure started as we were to enjoy the last. The guys that will join me for the 22nd year in a row for our annual CABIN TRIP this winter. This group holds such a valuable place in my life. They continue to be so many of my happiest and most anticipated life moments. They are where I go to feel like a kid again. They are my space to put everything down and be myself. TOTALLY. Knowing that they are there for the very same.
The COACHING BROTHERHOOD: My job has certainly allowed me to have amazing relationships with such talented men, amazing mentors, and true friends. At each stop along the way, I have been so fortunate to share so much time with these men. Working, planning, investing in young people, investing in each other. So many of my strongest bonds have been formed with the guys n the coaches’ office. Though some of us may have moved to different places and our schedules do not allow us the time together that we once had, the bond remains: unbroken, valued, and needed. I have truly loved the opportunity to get to these men, to invest in them, to have them invest in me, to learn their families, to see their successes and their failures as coaches and as men, coming out on the other side with only greater respect for each of them. They have invested in me. They have seen me at my best, and some have seen me at my very worst. Always the group galvanized by something bigger than ourselves. Fighting, struggling, straining, to help make a group of young men the best they can be all the while supporting one another through the struggles that go hand in hand with that effort.
Why have I been so lucky? Why has God decided to let me walk through my life with such an amazing support group? Why do I get to be the one to be impacted by so many amazing individuals? I’m not sure, but I THANK GOD FOR HIS BLESSING OF FRIENDSHIP. The wonderful affects it has had on my life are immeasurable.
Have you called you friend lately? Have you told them thank you for the strength they have been to you during your journey? Make the time. They are worth it.
To all of those mentioned above, from the very bottom of my heart: THANK YOU FOR THE PRIVILEGE OF CALLING YOU FRIEND.