About 7 years ago I ran with a really tight group of people I met from and LDS Online group.
We rolled really tight. There were probably about 15 of us who hung out on a daily basis after work and upto about 10 more who would come in on weekends and join us. We did everything from sponsoring an at risk teen for Christmas to road tripping 4 hours to have dinner with someone who was depressed and feeling alone. Although I'm not in contact with most of them, I will always love them, they hold a special place on my heart.
The other day I was online and a familiar buddy name flashed acrossed my I/M. I couldn't believe my eyes! So I sent a quick note:
"Is this my Hot Toddy from Green River?"
Oh my goodness it was! I hadn't heard from him in about 7 years! Dang I had a crush on that boy.
He lost a bet to me and I got to nick name him "HOT TODDY!"
Todd was a single parent of a beautiful daughter. I have never seen a father love or care for any child as much as he did for his daughter. It was amazing to witness the love her had for her. Toddy was going through a hard time, divorce, job changes, financial thing, depression and all that goes along with it. I could see he was struggling and wanted him to know he had a friend by his side.
Eventually I heard from him less and less and then not at all. Until a few days ago.
I couldn't believe it was him. I asked him how he was doing and he sounded so good and was telling me how great his life has been. It was good to hear. I was really worried about him when we were last in touch.
About 5 minutes into our conversation he says:
"I have to tell you something I don't think you ever knew"
With the recent event that have been swirling around my life this month and last month, I wasn't sure I was ready for ANYTHING that had to begin with... "I have to tell you something."
I sat silently and braced myself in my seat, waiting.
he typed: "You know, you saved my life?"
I typed back "huh? How in the world did I do that?"
He proceeds to tell me how depressed he was back then. Ready to end it all. A struggle to live each day.
I knew he was depressed, I didn't realized he was suicidal.
On day he goes to an outdoor show. I didn't like the idea of a depressed man going to where there a possibility of guns and bows and any other manor of outdoor "toys" that could cause some self infliction. Anyway he goes to this out door show. What grabbed his interest was a 4-wheeler or 2. I encouraged him to buy. He didn't think he should.
"toddy, buy the quad!"
"No, it's too much money."
" You're worth it! You should get it, you like it! Buy the quad"
"Na, it's a frivolous spend, no rhym or reason or justification for it"
I wasn't sure why I felt so strongly that he NEEDED that 4 wheeler. But I was pretty determined to make sure he bought them.
"can you afford it?"
he says "Yeah."
"Do you love 4 wheeling?"
he said "yeah."
I said "Toddy, by the quad."
" just can't" he says. "I'd feel guilty about spending that much money"
*arg!!!!!!! Guys, sometimes it's OK to buy something JUST BECAUSE! ....SOMETIMES!*
"Todd, you have been struggling to hard this passed year. you NEED to find something to bring you joy, to get your mind off of things, to help you remember that life can be full of fun and joy. BUY THE QUAD, BOY!"
He never would have bought it had I not talked him into it. I kind of remember the desperation I felt in him having to find it, but I could never understand why I felt he HAD to have it.
TODDY bought the quad! It was after that time he eventually faded away.
He fills me in on what happened over the years:
it gave him something to focus on besides the hell in his life. he met a whole new set of friends who changed his world for the better. Changed his life. Now he's married to a wonderful woman who owns 2 salon's has a step son and his beautiful daughter is doing well in school, a great student. He is soo happy. I'm so happy for him.
You never know how far reaching the effects of your friendship may go. For me it was about more than A quad. For me it was about him finding something that brings him joy. Something he could have a reason to wake up just one more day. Salvation can come in many forms but there really is only one source of it. This is a confirmation to me that the Lord knows us well and knows how to reach us and is willing to go where needed to do so.
Even if it's on a 4-wheeler!