i could die with mike and shawn patterson. i’ve never had, nor ever will have better friends, family, soul mates or partners than the two of them. at the hardest times in our lives… lisa and me… mike and shawn have shown up; comforting us, praying with us, praying for us. taking care of us.
mike and shawn especially have taken care of my mom and dad. dad, like most church of christ preachers i know, has no retirement. a small amount of social security, my folks live off the blessing of having stayed out of debt most of their lives and the generosity of the church that dad and speech and mike started together almost 13 years ago.
my dad has often said mike is more like a son than i am. i take no offense; mike has been there with dad, for dad and continues to take care of my family in ways that i could write a whole series on; but suffice to say, mike and shawn are family.
over the years friends have come and gone. i have my own formula for what a friend is. i like most of the people i meet but if they like me back i tend to LOVE them. if they love me back, they’re on speed dial. mike and shawn have been on speed dial for nearly two decades of my life. i have a feeling if we get to grow old together they’ll always be on speed dial.
another formula i’ve heard is reason, season, lifetime. there’s some people in our life for no more than a reason at hand and in no time they’re gone. others a bit longer, but still only a season or two. lifetime explains itself. i’ve often thought we get our hearts broken needlessly some times simply because we want someone to be lifetime, on speed dial, and they can only give a season, if not only a reason. that’s ok. our lifetime friends show themselves clearly.
my buddy greg showed up as a lifetime friend years before i knew how close we’d be… doug…
… doug, what can i say about the man. we are opposites and yet he’s loved me and taken care of me when it seemed like all our associates were done with me. russ? russ is the kind of friend that it might take a flare gun, but if you need him, he’s there. and what more could you want?
it’s sad when friends fall out with each other. but it’s inevitable. not inevitable that if you have a friend it won’t last; it’s inevitable that if you have a lot of friends you’re going to have friends that can’t be friends with other friends. when it doesn’t work that way, it’s cool; meaning, when your friends like each other, it’s quite a group. but it’s heartbreaking when friends you love can’t see eye to eye to the point they get sick of each other, or oppose each other.
when that’s not the case; when your friends like each other as much as they like you, it’s rare. to have extended relationships of mutual admiration that escape jealousy or competition; can over come misunderstandings and heart breaks. i’ve got some friends like that.
sometimes even their wives and my lisa are best friends. sometimes it’s the wife who’s like a sister from another mother:
or sister and mother or daughter from another mother:
these aren’t always people you get to see all the time. that’s really hard. but then God gives you family where ever you are if you just keep your heart open to it.
and sometimes he lets you take your family with you all over the world; they never leave you. sometimes you can take that for granted. but if you have a website and can type you try to make up for it like this: love you mom and buzz!
i’ve got friends who mean one thing to others who love them, something maybe different to me. like, i love kelly boyd. he’s a great man, devoted disciple to his lord, and father, husband, preacher; to a lot of people he’s the man who got them baptized. he’s a lot of that to me, as far as brother and preacher i appreciate; but the dude can do stuff!
and has been a friend i can count on in good days and bad. so glad to have him nearby.
and then there’s friends you thought you’d maybe never get to be with again. and yet, God, in mercy and maybe a little tomfoolery, lets you get back together for more mayhem; more hijinks. hijinks… i love that word. love this guy:
the thing is, i think, as i write this… none of these folks are probably going to read this until i’m dead. maybe when i’m gone (play sad music now, let me go deep down mellow drama) someone will say, “hey, didn’t steve blog a little?” then someone will find this, those who outlived me will smile if i included them directly, wonder why i left them out if i didn’t mention them … hey i didn’t put my kids, my secret motorcycle club, my… you get the idea… my real friends who don’t find a pic or name mentioned here know that i rarely plan anything, shoot from the hip and sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t.
the thing is, there’s only one truly unique relationship in my whole life. not my mom, though i wouldn’t be here without her, not my dad… etc. etc. etc.
there’s only been one soul mate and truly no friend like her.
but these people; these friends especially… mike and shawn. i could die with them. i hope some of you reading this are as lucky.