A quiet life lesson

by John on June 22, 2010

My friend’s dad died last week.

It’s tough because he’s the person that I call my very “first” friend. We met in pre-school around the age of three. I still remember the big concrete pipe that was the tunnel that you could crawl through at the western end of the playground. We were typical boys, always running, playing, and shouting, always doing typical boy things. Hell, he was always able to beat me to the ground when we got into wrestling matches.

He sent me a quick email, letting me know the news. It hit me square in the gut and immediately took the joy out of the day.

I was lucky to learn a life lesson from his dad; it’s something to this day that I believe had a major impact on my life. The lesson, you need to take care of your friends, especially when they’re down and they need your help.

I remember seeing my buddy’s dad up on the roof of our house with my father, and an uncle, repairing a section of the roof that was damaged due to a storm. My buddy’s dad was a carpenter by trade, and he was there sawing, nailing, and helping my family.

I didn’t know this then, but growing up, we didn’t have what you would call a large amount of “disposable” income. My parents made sacrifices, but we weren’t always in the best shape money wise and here’s my buddy’s dad helping us out. I never knew the details and the particulars of why he was helping; he just was up there in the summer heat and sun doing a solid for my dad and our family.

Thirty five years have passed, and while we have not always remained close, he’s still my friend.

And what he doesn’t know is that if he calls me for anything, I’ll be there. A quiet lesson taught to me by his father.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Chris Fleek June 22, 2010 at 1:27 pm

Having recently lost my own father I can relate to the lesson learned here. I have been reflecting on the lessons my father taught me through his actions and am thankful for the things he was able to pass along to me without words. Nice reflections here John.

Dave Ryan June 22, 2010 at 2:21 pm

Emotional comments John! I can only hope that I have left an idelible mark on my two son’s friends, just like your friend’s father did with you.

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