She and I have lunch every week as much as possible. She is my venting partner in life - I vent joys and sorrows as does she and we are THERE for each other, in the good times and bad. God blessed me greatly when he placed Dawn in my life as a dear friend. We "get" each other and accept each other for our limitations. I'm almost 5' 11" and she is very short. We go together like total opposites - but the glue of friendship holds us strong. We do have many things in common too - and over 33 years of friendship allows for much laughter and tears.
I couldn't be prouder of her and her accomplishments. Here is the latest that has hit the local papers:
She sums up so much of what society is missing - we need more of this mentality: "Growing up, being a different person, I've learned that you don't judge the book by its cover."
Her words rang true even more so this past weekend. I shared with her as her article in the news hits the local towns this very lesson hit home for me this weekend.
My eldest son, intentionally drove his first car, a gift from us to use - super hard and blew the engine, then boasted to his friends about all the way he drove it. In our parental outrage, we didn't let him drive any of our other vehicles and said that was it - buy your own vehicle. Long story - lots happened as he pulled away from church, made poor choices in his life.....until God returned him back into our nest and informed us despite him being 19 we aren't done with him yet. So, the often rude, cussing young man came home and we began helping him, encouraging him to get / keep and find work, save money and not spend it all (ongoing) and that we'd help him buy/find a vehicle he'd use until he paid us for it. So, learning a lot of grace and give/take, we found a mini-van that he amazingly wanted, loaded, older, hadn't moved much in 6 months. I sent him off on Saturday to have the tires checked due to a low front passenger side tire. On his way back home, the vehicle's steering quit and he pulled into a parking lot as it died. "Great" - he thought I'd be angry at him - wrecking another yet vehicle that he promised he'd be nice to this time. I was busy doing the 100 plus things I save for weekends, moving my mountains on a schedule to get it done....and he calls, telling me of the vehicle woes, not impressed but he needed my help so baking bread and laundry had to wait.. I headed out to him - 20 minutes away, expecting we'd have to get the vehicle towed, thinking of costs we don't need at this time in expensive repairs - my son was worried I was going to yell at him (yes, I do yell from time to time!). But I was calm - he thought he knew what part was needed, I told him to use his smart phone smartly and find the part and it's cost.
I picked him up, he showed me the serpentine belt that was ruined, we headed to an automotive shop, found the part, rented the tool we'd need and returned to the vehicle which was parked in front of a Hooka Lounge, no less. Turns out through Anthony's social snap chatting, his friend's Dad was at that very lounge. He came out and introduced himself and said he could help us get the new belt on.
He is an army mechanic, had worked on many vans like the broken one at a dealership and knew just what to do. It wasn't an easy job by far. The motor was quite tightly placed, the man got dirty, cut his hand and told my son how to help him get the new belt on. 45 minutes later, the job was done and he'd literally saved us 100's of $. I was so humbled by his help, he didn't have to do this. He was a kind man and when I tried to give him money, he simply asked that we pay it forward. Wow, it could have been so easy to judge this man from his appearance - but the kindness that poured from his soul, mouth and eyes amazed and humbled me. We talked and got to know each other a little in those 45 minutes. I learned about a caring man who's daughter was my son's friend and that in itself was enough for him to help us. He told me some of his life. I listened amazed.
As we all got going and I drove home, I prayed to God thanking him for this stranger who took time to help us. That we shouldn't judge books by their covers and everyone around us is created by God and loved by Him - this example was that very reminder that sometimes we get so busy in life we forget or don't take the time for people near and around us. It is hard to verbalize the exchange that took place in all this for me. With all the recent media bashing, hate, crime in our area and worldwide - kindness prevailed right in front of me. We don't have too far to look for good around us - the reminder that it is there!
My son kept saying over and over he thought I'd be mad at him. I told him over and over I was proud of him for knowing how to stop, find the part and the help. His resources amazed me....and I was not angry at all. A growing time for both of us.
The good Samaritan lived out before us. I'm always more of the one to help the others - so this was humbling to be the one on the roadside needing the help. A perspective needed to grow.
So - pay it forward folks. Pay it forward....I know I will.