I just finished watching the movie "My First Mister". It was a movie that my mom had gotten from Netflix and really, really wanted me to watch. I've had it for probably more than a month and I could just never get in the mood to watch it...until tonight. It was a tough movie to get through for the most part. Until towards the end anyways. It's about a girl...somewhat misguided, depressed and alone. It's about an older gentleman...somewhat misguided, depressed and alone. Both very different. Both have forgotten how to be young and alive. Through a course of events their lives end up colliding together and they become friends. Best friends. By the end of the movie I was sobbing because all I could see in these characters was my dear, dear friend Don. I've given him many nicknames..."Dapper Don", "Don Juan", "Big Daddy Don", but mostly I just call him "D."

Don and I are a very unlikely pairing to be good friends but you know, that's how my life tends to work. God tends to bring people into my life that are different than me most of the time. I think it's so that I can learn from them and they from me. Perhaps so that I can know myself well enough to accept someone into my life who fits like a glove when the time is right. :) Anyways, Don & I have been on a long road together. He's one of the core people in my life. We have a relationship that's so difficult to describe unless you've had one like it in your own life. But I'm going to try. Out of all my guy friends I can without a doubt say that Don is my best friend. He knows everything about me... and I sometimes get the lectures to go along with my decisions lol (hence the big daddy nickname). He gives me advice. Good advice. He is so full of wisdom. We talk about everything from music to sex to the Bible. He is a protector, he laughs at my jokes, he is a prayer warrior, he is an encourager and he's a good example. He's been married for almost 30 years and he adores his wife...... he is a godly man that has shown me exactly what I should be looking for. You know, I have seen these qualities in other friends but the one thing about Don & I that is different is that there seems to be a divinely inspired affection between us. I know, I know...that is really hard to understand. It's so hard to put into words so bear with me. lol I love Don so deeply and affectionately...yet totally platonically. Have you ever known someone that you just absolutely adore and would do anything for if you could....you just love them more than the mountains, more than forever. Not in a romantic relationship kind of way, just in a kindred spirit/soul friend kind of way? Actually, I'm guessing that it's what a healthy, thriving father-daughter relationship would feel like. I can usually tell by looking at a woman whether or not she had a father that adored her. She glows. She is happy and healthy and has a quiet confidence about her. It's the same "look" that women of Christ get. Have you ever seen a woman who just has Christ pooring out of her? You can just tell. Well, that's how I feel about Don. It's like he is a friend that my soul has known since the beginning of time. When he hurts I hurt. When he was going through chemo, I got sick. He is probably the closest that I will ever come to feeling that healthy father-daughter thing on this earth.

He always talked about how he thought it was fate that brought us together as friends. His mother's name was Veronica, a baby girl that he and Cindy had lost was named Veronica....and now there's me....the little thorn in his side. :) When we met we were both in periods of our lives that were defined by upheaval and change. Sadness. And it's like God used our friendship to remind us of the beauty in our lives. Don reminded me that there are godly men out there that are kind, sincere, gentle, protecting, funny, loving, etc. We became friends right around the time that I started dating Jesus....a time that my soul was in desperate need of restoring. I wrote in my other blog about the way that God used Jesus in my life. He reminded me that I was beautiful. Well, God used Don (and still does) to remind me that I am young and that life is full of hope. He also used him to teach me to like myself. No one can like me until I like myself and Don has taught me that all of the little things about me (things that for years I had been condemned for by the evil one) are wonderful parts of me. Because of Don I am no longer afraid to sing. He has a beautiful singing voice and I used to sit next to he and Cindy in church and he would just belt out those songs as loud as he could. He would lean over and whisper in my ear to make a joyful noise! God is in love with my voice, who cares if it's out of tune? SING! And so now I do....I sing. In that adorable little off-key way that is mine and all mine. He thinks it's hillarious that I'm clumsy. Just the other day we were working together and I asked a really stupid question and almost immediately caught myself. He just smiled and giggled and said "that's why I adore you...because you're so human!" Years ago my spirit was so beaten down that even I would've beaten myself up over saying something so stupid, but now I just smile and roll my eyes. I took what he said as a compliment. I like that I am human. I like that others see me as grounded and down to earth. And I appreciate the parts of me that are oh so far from being perfect.

He says that I remind him of his wife when they first met.....which reminded him just how much he enjoys her company and how much he loves her and it made him excited to go home to see her everyday again (they had been in a really rough patch and it sure is easy after many years to forget who the person is that you look at every day isn't it?). One time he actually thanked me for helping to save his marriage. He said, "suddenly I remembered who my wife was and I looked at her for the first time in a long time as the young, beautiful girl that was so full of life that I fell in love with....and that can get you through alot." He does have a lovely wife....she's awesome.

He found out a year or so ago that he has cancer. It knocked the breath out of me when he told me. I wept for my friend. I prayed him through chemo and radiation. He's prayed me through lupus flares and guy troubles. I can't imagine losing him. He says he's too busy to get sicker so I shouldn't worry. lol "I have a wife to take care of and kids to get through college. My boy is getting through seminary!" His work is like a two-edged sword. On one hand I'm afraid he's going to work himself into the grave. On the other hand I think it might be just what's keeping him going. He's so proud of his family and just wants to take care of them...it gives him a reason to get up every morning and keep on chugging.

At the end of "My First Mister" the girl plans a small intimate dinner for the people closest in their lives....he's dying and it's kind of a last get together sort of thing. It's very emotional and touching especially when he asks her to dance. I cried and cried. After they dance they sit back down at the table and she proposes a toast. He had always gotten on her case about the fact that she used the "f" word too much (boy I sure can't relate to that at all!!! lol). So she made a toast to all the "important 'f' words. Family....... Friendship....... Fate........ And Forever." They just stared at each other with a look that spoke a thousand unsaid words. And with tears in his eyes he mouthed back to her the word "FOREVER".