Happy Monday up there in Heaven.
I wanted to tell you about something, son.
Remember the time you took me to Mulligans to listen to your friend Mark’s band? It was just about this time two years ago. It had been a while since I had heard them and you wanted me to hear their new guitarist, who plays in the style of Stevie Ray.
You and I spent a lot of listenening time with Vaughn, didn’t we?
Your dad was out of town and I asked you, ‘do you really want me to go with you on a Friday night?’
Not wanting to impose, knowing your Dad was a lot more familiar with most of your friends than me , I wanted to spare you the embarrassment of taking your mom. But, true to who I know you to be, you were comfortable with the invitation, the desire to share something with me strong for you.
My thought was to just stay for about 30 minutes or so and leave. Ww got there around 7 because you wanted to do your manager duties and then the band didn’t start playing until 9:30 or so.
I can remember two things vividly.
One was what you were wearing. You had on shorts with those strong, light brown hairy calves showing, a t-shirt, with a mostly white, nobby-textured button down shirt over it. It was unbuttoned. You also had on these flipflop made from some kind of tubing. No one was dressed like you. It wasn’t that you looked strange particularly, it was just such a personal style.
The second thing that i remember so vividly was how much so many of the people there seemed to genuinely like you. They hugged you affectionately, openly, both the guys and girls. You weren’t the kind of guy that came in and was the center of attention, not loud or sanguine, quite the opposite really. You were the quiet Jake I knew you to be. As much as you hated being short, I thought then most of the people in that room looked up to you. I decided that they respected who you had been to each of them. For a mother, that was a heartwarming truth to know. I remember trying to tell you how much the evening meant to me as you and I got in the car at 2am and we drove home together. I remembered thinking at that time, what an usual memory was now painted on the walls of my heart. Not even knowing the path the future would bring, the preciousness of that memory resonated with me at we drove home.
So this past Saturday your friends gathered at Mulligan’s again, just like they did the year before, to party after the golf tournament. There was poker and karaoke this time and I saw sides and talents of your friends I didn’t know they had.
Cody ran an auction on his hair.
Yeah, son, the haircut his friends gave him to sport for the next week was awful.
Things have changed.
There have been marriages and heartbreaks, there have been babies and loss. But I realized something very important this past Saturday, the need to be loved, the deep seated desire to know someone truly cares for us, is what binds us all. I looked around that room and I thought about each person there. It’s taking me two years to understand why those friends of yours still care. I keep thinking they will lose interest, life will move on and their memories of you will fade. And this will happen to some extent, sooner for some, never for others. But I finally got it, son. The reason your friends still love you, the reason they have showered the same on your dad and I, is because you loved them and they knew it.
Love is miraculous in what it can do.
We can try a lot of things to find love and we do, a lot of them fruitless, some of them necessary, but the bottom line is love is what we all need. We hope to find it in a mate, we try to find it in our family, we can look for it with friends, but the truest love, the one that makes a difference, is the one that you knew, my Jake. Those times I caught you reading your Bible or you head bowed in prayer, you were letting God’s love wash over you and asking him to tell you how to love those around you. It’s not always easy to know how to love and we can still get it wrong, but always it about knowing and showing that God is the miracle where it all comes from. One day son, you and I will talk about this, our spirits bathed in love that never ends. In the meantime, I’m going to try to be a vessel that God work the miracle of love here on earth, like I believe he did in you, as he is doing in so many others. I am going to be a person who those around me know they can count on one thing, to love them.