There’s luck and then there’s something bigger…something divine that conspires to bring people into your life to challenge you…support you…teach you…to love you.
Tonight several of us are heading to a Gala to honor one of those people…our very own Man of the Year. It was a year ago this very weekend that I met him…virtually…via a text message. He sent, “Let’s be friends and make out. Cool?” I had become friends with some of his friends and as we all headed to Alabama for an epic wedding that was how we were introduced.
My response, “Well of course!” While we might not have made out (turns out I’m not his type, if you know what I mean), a beautiful friendship began. Pure silliness…laughter…and genuine love.
I don’t think I’ve ever met anyone like The Man of the Year before. His sense of humor and timing is impeccable and his heart knows no boundaries. When he loves you, he loves you completely…without conditions or expectations. He’s beautiful inside and out, and he fights for what he believes in.
Last summer, I was on the brink of a breakdown because of work…actually, I may have had one. My friendship with The Man of the Year had been steadily growing but when work took a nasty turn for me, he became one of the people I grew to count on. Almost daily, he’d text me just to check in. To tell me that he missed me and was thinking of me. It was a connection to home that I so desperately needed to keep me from coming completely unhinged.
I’ve told him how much those messages meant to me but I feel like it’s just words. I doubt I’ll ever be able to truly convey the role they played — he played — in keeping me from completely losing myself. Of seeing how important the people in your life are…so choose wisely who you surround yourself with. You never know when you are going to need them.
Tonight’s Gala honors his efforts to raise money and awareness for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. He and his entourage of supporters raised over $40,000 and coordinated over 10 events in 10 weeks. A feat that had never been attempted and gained him national attention from the association. But that’s just The Man of the Year….he goes big. He’s all in.
We already know that he didn’t win the contest to raise the most money, but I don’t think anyone else put forth more heart or invested more of their personal energy into the cause. For that, he’ll always be The Man of the Year to me. He’s a shining example of why friendship and giving to the community are so important.
Thank you for everything you did and all you gave, especially over the past 10 weeks. You are an amazing human and you make everyone around you better. I hope that we are able to give back to you what you’ve given to so many of us. Support…heart…love.
Thank you for being you. Let’s celebrate tonight and then you go get some much deserved rest. I love you, dear friend.