October 14, 2014
My husband and I spent some time with a friend we have had for years today (I refuse to say an old friend). Actually, I have known this remarkable man since long before I was married. His family and I joined the church on the same day. Eventually I worked for him for a while and we have served on many committees, council, and retreat weekends together. We have many memories and we relived a few when we met.
When I think of him, however, I mostly have admiration. During the time I was his employee, I learned a lot. He was forever having us do continuing education, mostly involved with learning to be better service-oriented employees. Little things such as: before you pick up the phone, stop what you are doing (no matter what it is) and smile. The person on the other end can hear it. I still try to do that today. Amazing how important it makes the caller feel.
Yet, the most important thing I learned from him came through someone he introduced me to. Many years ago, he took under his wing a young man who had become quadriplegic due to a tragic accident. At the time, I was timid around differently-abled folks, not sure how to react to them. His often being around the office and my being encouraged to interact with him helped me realize he was understanding about my reactions to his abilities and made me feel more comfortable. We became friends, too, which probably would have never happened if I had not been nudged by my employer friend.
One thing is for sure, I am thankful for all my friend taught me, encouraged me to do, and the opportunities he opened up for me. I hope he knows how special I think he is!