Sunday, December 02, 2012

I'm Thankful for This Year, Part II

I am thankful for friends and family and for the time I've been able to spend building relationships with them over the past year.  When I learned of the death of the Boyetts, the first thing I thought about was how terrible it would be to suddenly lose my parents.  When I learned of the death of Stacy, the first thing I thought about was how terrible it would be to lose any of my dearest friends I have made throughout life.

After my friend Adam Embry called to inform me of Stacy's death, I jumped in my truck and personally went  to deliver the news to my dear friends, the Gould family.  After I returned home, I attempted to call up a number of old friends whom I hadn't spoken to in a long time.  As best as I could manage, I tried to tell my friends how much I deeply appreciated each one of them being a part of my life.  And I've been able to use this last year to take some opportunities in trying to make the most of those existing friendships and to work hard so that those bonds don't disappear due to neglect on my part.  I haven't been able to invest as much time as I'd like, and most of the time my contact with long-distance friends has to be limited to email, phone calls, or social messaging technologies.

Stacy's sudden death became a source of some guilt for me because for as much time as I spent with the Ellison family, I couldn't recall many instances where I had verbalized my appreciation of their friendship.  It's a cliche, but "sometimes the important things go unsaid."  For whatever reason, being fully honest about my feelings has been an emotionally difficult thing for me to do.  It's not so much that I'm hung up on some misplaced notion of masculinity, but it just doesn't feel like a very natural thing to my own personality.  Most of us don't live our lives constantly and repeatedly gushing about how much we appreciate our most beloved family and friends, but we shouldn't neglect that sort of thing altogether either.  When God takes folks away from us without warning, we'll regret the fact that we never took the opportunity to let those people know exactly what we thought about them.

I suppose that without that terrible week last year, it would have taken me longer to realize all that.  So I'm thankful that out of those tragedies came something good for me on a personal level.

One more post to come in this series later tonight.

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