I have a good friend whom I have known for a few years now. He has been mentioned in this blog as Crash John, and he is a good natured man with self-deprecating humor and integrity that is a benchmark for others. I have turned to him during a couple of my trying times and he shared wisdom and comfort and always left me better than he found me.
We met for lunch today and he confided he was just coming out of the darkest period of his life. His wife had been diagnosed with lung cancer, and because they move pretty fast on those things, this was his first gasp of air. It had been a few weeks since their ordeal started and he related that she had completed surgery and the post-operative tests indicated all should be okay.
We looked each other in the eye and because we are men, we didn’t hug or anything, but I could tell his journey had taken him through the fires of hell. I couldn’t say I knew what he was going through, but I did relate that some of my recent travails had resulted in a limited enthusiasm for the Cyclocross season with the first race almost exactly twenty-four hours away.
Guys don’t share much deep stuff and I was almost shaking as I was driving back to the office. My phone rang and it was Hottie. She knows John, and I had in fact delivered to John some photos Hottie had given me for John. I told her about John’s wife and that John had been off work to care for her. I told her John might be back at work next week and in one millisecond Hottie asked what she could do to help John’s family. I paused for a moment. Her sincere kindness was such a bold contrast to the recent ugliness I have been exposed to, it choked me up. I realized I am the luckiest guy in the world to be married to Hottie. About this same time I arrived back at the parking lot at work. I shut off the car, got out and the bright sun made my eyes water as I walked to the building. At least, that is how I tell the story.