It’s been my honor to have known this man just a little

I know a guy. A guy who’s had an impact on my spouse and many others both personally and professionally. To say he’s been a mentor wouldn’t quite sum it up although he’s been tremendous in that regard to so many. No, this guy’s caring has gone beyond professional shepherding and entered into a fatherly and familial relationship with more people than I can count and undoubtedly more than I know. So how do I know this?

I know this guy, have for close to 30 years and he’s never been anything less than phenomenal. I’m not one to gush but I haven’t ever run into anyone in a professional setting who exhibited the sincerity and singularity of purpose that this guy has. The demands and changes of the job were ever present. But this guy’s focus on his people never wavered. I consider myself a writer so words are my ally. Still, I find it hard to describe how this guy conducts his life both at the office and outside of it. How do you describe the Grand Canyon, the Sistine Chapel or a sunset? I don’t know that you do. You just have to experience it. Now, please don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying the guy is perfect.

I know this guy well enough and for long enough that I’ve seen him lose his cool. I’ve seen this guy get good and ticked off and frustrated with his fellow man and woman. I’ve heard him audibly wash his hands of someone. And yet, I never believed him 100% because I’ve seen the proof to the contrary. As fully human and flawed as he is, as we all are, I’ve seen him forgive and grant another chance when others would not have done so. So, Pollyanna he’s not, but the guy has a huge heart. I know because I’ve seen it.

I’ve seen this guy interact with his kids and now his grandkids and as warm and loving as he is with his friends there’s another gear when it comes to family. Again, it’s like describing Mona Lisa’s smile, but when you see it you appreciate the unique, deep and loving nature of this guy. His whole countenance and nature softens and often he extends a hand to touch those he loves as if his manner and words just aren’t enough. Truly, I don’t think they are. Sometimes when a guy feels something so deeply, human contact is the only way to convey it. And this is a guy intent on showing, on getting across and on impressing on those he loves just how much they are loved. To stop short, to not express it, would be unthinkable. It would be completely counter intuitive to his nature. Perhaps more than anything else, it’s this compulsion that’s brought him so close and kept him so close to those he’s known.

See, I’ve known this guy through my spouse for a long time. But even in this tertiary relationship and a passing professional contact this guy’s love is what’s shone through. It’s the way this guy has lived his life, so openly, so honestly and so transparently that makes us all want to be more like him. We probably don’t know how to say thanks for his influence. We probably don’t know how to show what he’s meant to our lives professionally and personally. Perhaps the best we can do is to live our lives by his example.

He’s not a simple guy and I wouldn’t try and sum him up in one sentence or example or situation, but when someone asked him if he ever asked himself, ‘Why me? Why ALS?’ his response was “Why not me?” That just might be the greatest question, the greatest lesson and the greatest challenge to those of us who know him that this guy I know, ever gave us.

When it comes to some people, you just feel lucky to have known them. This guy’s like that. If you know this guy or someone like him I hope you’ll share this.

I write every week about stuff I’ve learned and life’s experiences. If you would like to read more, click this and you’ll go to my blog’s home page. You can subscribe for free there or by clicking here. Subscribing just means you’ll get an email every week with links to the week’s posts, nothing else. I don’t ever sell or share emails.