Wednesday, August 31, 2016

For Ronnie

This post is dedicated to a late dear friend of mine, Ronnie.

Ronnie and I bowled together in the early 90's.  We were wonderful friends from the start.  Tyler liked him too as Ronnie was an open and jovial spirit and loved to interact with others.  Ronnie would laugh and laugh by getting my son to imitate Ric Flair.  "Woooooooooo" he would say.

Now being in my 20's I was not what you might call a sentimental guy yet, and Ronnie was perhaps 20 years older than me or more, which made him look at life differently than I did.  Every time I saw Ronnie he hugged me, and every time we parted company he hugged me again and told me he loved me.  At first this made me a bit squeamish just for the simple fact that we were GUYS and guys don't hug and say I love you to each other!  Guys grunt, fart, and talk about boobs which means they love you.  Its all in the translation, you see.  But Ronnie changed me forever because I learned to appreciate that from him and understand the power that comes from expressing yourself honestly.

Years ago Ronnie became sick and passed away.  And even though we saw each other only weekly mostly through bowling, it left a hole in my heart.  But I have never, ever forgotten what our friendship taught me.  Reaching out to people is a wonderful thing.  Saying "I love you" is a wonderful thing.  Embracing someone is a wonderful thing.  These are the most precious gifts that we as people can give to each other.

I currently have a friend who has been hospitalized with complications from a condition he has had all of his life.  We have been friends for a relatively short period of time but he is important to me. We talk about sports, we take exercise walks together, and we just support one another.  We are quite a distance apart due to me traveling but I'm texting him a few times a day and offered to help with the kids or house or whatever until he is back on his feet.  He would do exactly the same for me I know it.

We all know people that are in need because we ALL have needs.  We all have struggles.  I believe that the more we change the macho man culture the better.  It is not a weakness to reach out to other people when you need help, it is a strength.  It is not creepy to embrace another man, it is a show of strength and love.  I write in this blog as my way to reach other people and I hope and pray that it helps.  Its my way of hugging all of you who struggle with special needs care, or struggle as a parent, or just struggle with life.

I hope that by putting away male stereotypes and reaching out to others the best way I know how, that it may be an inspiration for you to do the same.  That is how Ronnie did it for me.

This hug is for you Ronnie.  And this "WOOOOOOOOOOO!"  I love you.


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