On Tuesday, I got to hang out with one of my favorite guys on the planet. I don’t see him very often, but when I do, it makes my day. His name is Phil and he’s the dad of my best friend, Emily. She’s pretty crazy about him. Sometimes she almost can’t stand how precious he is. It makes her heart nearly burst. If you knew Phil, you would understand.
Whenever I’m around Phil, he asks me lots of questions about my life and listens to my answers intently, a trait I appreciate in a man. His favorite thing to ask, with a twinkle in his eye, is, “How about your love life??” Emily says that when I’m not around, he will ask her for updates and she’ll fill him in on what she knows. This cracks me up. I think it cracks them up too.
As much as Phil enjoys the stories, he always maintains a protective stance, wanting to make sure I don’t settle for something less than I need or deserve, and applauding me when I don’t.
He might not ever know how much that blesses me. To feel seen and pursued and cared about by him. To know he’s in my corner.
On Tuesday he showed me this beautiful picture of himself and his new bride, Jane, taken a few years back by a friend of theirs.
I know, right?
How sweet is that?? An incredibly handsome and lovely couple, at the very start of their journey together. No idea what lies ahead, but ready for what may come.
Across the room from that picture, on the opposite wall, hangs this one:
That’s Phil and Jane, right there in the middle, surrounded by all their kids and grandkids.
There is so much story in between those two pictures. Good, and hard, and brave, and silly, and sacrificial, and ordinary parts to the story – and all the rest of it too.
Look what their love turned into.
Even the hospice technician who showed up to assemble a special bed in the living room – the kind that comes with a remote control and a rolling bedside table; the kind you need when your life is transitioning onto a new, sacred, and still somewhat uncertain path; the last bed you’ll probably ever use – even that guy commented on the picture with all the kids.
And it’s even more striking if you know the loving, funny, genuinely amazing people in that picture.
What a legacy.
What a gift.
What a man.