One year older than I am, we initially thought we were within one week of each other in age. But, that is because there was a confusion in paperwork when he came from Panama to America at the age of 12.
He did something for his adopted country that is an amazing statement, for he didn't use it to gain citizenship, he did it because he thought it was the right thing to do. He joined the Marines at 17 and went to Viet Nam!
He became the point man of his squad and was seriously wounded twice, once being the only survivor of the battle. Past that point, I will not tell you how bad it really was or what the details were, for he would not. Not unless he had a reason and because he knew you very well. He sees himself as having just done his job and is grateful that the main difficulty he experiences is during cold weather when the pain affects him. From my experience with him I can testify that it must be a lot of pain, because he is one of the toughest people I've ever known. The pain never stops him.
Yet, that toughness is coupled with compassion for others. Disciplined compassion to say the least, but the deep compassion of one who has been there. We met in the church and worked our way to becoming church elders. We taught children together for years. We walked away from the church when we felt it time to leave. Our spirituality is not at all bound by the church, yet we have no regret for the way we served.
We can discuss anything. We spend too little time together these days, for he moved to the mountains with his wife who is also my wife's best friend. It is extremely rare what we have shared, can share and look forward to sharing. We have camped together in the Sierras, driving his jeep back into distant back country. We have sat together and taken in the beauty. We have experienced our vision of God's wonder with no need to speak.
This post is intentionally free flowing and disjointed. That is how it often is when connecting with a best friend, for you ride the tossing waves of life together and share the peace and the tumult in equal measure. And I know that you, the reader, knows exactly what I am talking about. Each of us (hopefully) has someone like this in our lives.
Thank you, Delirious, for bringing this topic to the Loose Blogger Consortium!