When I launched this blog a couple of days ago, I was a shaking bundle of nerves, wondering what what the reaction would be... no, just wondering if Joni was going to hate me for using her as the subject of my first blog. Even after she commented and told me she liked it, for some reason I was still jumpy. Then I got a message from a friend, "I'll be one of your faithful blog followers". For some reason that simple sentence meant so much to me.
Did you ever have someone say something to you that was meant as an expression of support and love, but that hit you on a much deeper level? Can I talk about Brent Curdy for a minute?
When I saw that sentence from Brent I read it in my mind all day. Faithful blog followers. He's faithful to me, and I know that he is.
I have a strange history with Brent Curdy, and over the last few years his friendship to me has meant so much. He falls into the category of friends that I refer to as "Army Family"... and if you don't have an Army family like I do I'll explain... When you're in the Army, chances are, that no one is living near family (unless you're really lucky or you grew up in a military town) so you make your own. We found that the bonds that we made are the life-long kind, you have to lean on the people that are in your unit because if you don't you don't have anyone to lean on. We step into the familial roles in eachothers lives happily and easily, and when you find the family that you can cling to you hold tight to them. Brent was part of that for me, along with a core group of others. If you're in that group there is no question in your mind that people have your back, and you can easily rattle of the names of the others that belong to that family.
The first few times I ever saw Brent he was wearing a T-shirt that some might find offensive (I choose not to disclose the content of said T-shirt, so don't ask ;)). I made a comment to the effect of, "do you own any other shirts?", raising attention to the lack of variety in his wardrobe and not the message on the shirt, and God bless Brent, knowing my religious beliefs (Christian, in case you weren't aware), he thought he had offended me. I know he didn't want to offend me, nor do I think he would ever want to offend anyone (he loves to discuss peoples ideas, so it was an attention grabber for him) but he was so uncomfortable around me for a while after that... he even started calling me, "Mrs. Lauer". I mentioned to someone that I didn't think Curdy liked me, so I went out of my way to show him that wasn't the case.
Well, all it took was one good night at a friends party, a couple of drinks and a card game to come to the bottom of the issue. I told him I wasn't offended by his clothing or his beliefs... I believe I defended him in an argument with someone that WAS slightly offended by the T-shirt in question. He told me he never wanted to offend me. We have been close ever since.
When I think of Brent I think of him at my house in TN, building Noah's play set. I think he built the bulk of it, and expertly so. We wanted to make Noah an ark swing set, and when we couldn't afford any more wood Brent went out and bought more so that he could keep working on it. He even built a bench inside with a top that hinged open for toy storage:)
Finally, I remember how Brent practically lived at my house for the last few weeks of his enlistment.
I LOVED it. He was one of the most considerate house guests that I ever had. He cooked
and helped me clean and we would stand in the kitchen for hours talking. I learned more about squash during those weeks than in my whole life (interesting factoid, Brent grew up on a squash farm and can name any variety of gourde that come in those Thanksgiving assortments of tiny decorative gourds). I think he's cooking squash in this picture.
One of the things I struggle with in this idea for a blog is not revealing any information too personal or anything that was told to me in confidence... so I'll say that Brent didn't always have it easy. He was made to feel that he wasn't really worth having around, and it wasn't until he joined the Army that he realized how much people really, truly do want him around. I can attest, I miss him every day. He is one of the most worthwhile people you could ever meet. He is brilliant, graduating from UC Berkley magna cum laude, as I predicted he would. If you are reading this and you are within a days drive from Berkley, CA you should go meet my friend Brent, and if you do, hug him for me.
Faith is trust. It's believing in the goodness of someone or something. To know that you have faith that I'll write something worth reading is comforting. To know that you have faith in me, Brent, means more than I can say. I assure you, I have the same faith in you.
For Brent I would walk through fire. I would pack up 4 kids today and find a way to CA if he said he needed me, and I have not a shadow of a doubt that he would do the same for me. So that's what I think about you, Brent Curdy. I just thought you should know.