Saturday, May 19, 2012

Honoring a Friend

I'm stepping away from the mom topic for today.  My heart is elsewhere so I'm going to write a bit about it.

Today I received news that a childhood friend had lost his very brave battle with cancer.  His name was Kenny and he was one of the few people in my life that I remember with no negatives.  He was funny and charming, loved to laugh and make others laugh and he was so kind.  He sat behind me in 10th grade geometry and when I felt like giving in, he would cheer me up by showing me his grades which were often challenging mine for lowest in the class.  He never let it get him down and he spurred me on to try harder.

There was a time when he and I had to pick up a few German exchange students from Dulles....or so we thought.  We arrived at Dulles only to find that we were at the wrong airport and had to go to National.  I was a scared baby because that meant we had to go to DC! We were small town kids from Southern Virginia! Oh, the horrors!  Kenny never wavered.  He started driving and soon we were in crazy traffic and zooming down the parkway.  He was as cool as a cucumber and so I decided I would not tell him how petrified I was.  His courage and determination gave me courage.

We were blessed to be part of a group who spent 5 weeks in Europe and the adventures we had were made even better by the funny antics Kenny and the boys would get up to.  At Lake Lungern in Switzerland, we walked from our hostel to the edge of the lake and the boys challenged each other....and the dive into that frigid water.  We girls managed to wade in as far as our shins, but for Kenny that wasn't enough.  With a big yell, he dove right in, the others following, and came bursting out of that water with another yell that echoed around the mountains.  Two local fisherman floating in a boat out a little ways, applauded and called their congratulations.  Apparently, they were unaccustomed to seeing people actually swimming in water that had come straight from the Alps!  Looking a challenge in the face and doing his best to overcome it, Kenny taught me to persevere.

My heart is heavy for Kenny's family and for this road they must walk.  It won't be easy and there will be days they feel like giving in, but I'm sure that living with him as husband and father, they have learned what I learned from him so many years ago.  Don't let it get you down, try harder, be determined, be courageous, and lessons from a wonderful man.

Kenny, you will be missed.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for sharing your wonderful memories of this special friend of yours, Paula! Beautiful tribute!