Saturday, September 11, 2004

Seeing Dave...From The Other Side

Before you read this post you should read this one.

I wrote it almost exactly one year ago, the morning after having dinner with my friend Dave and his family. That was the last time I had seen any of them...until today.

Yesterday while doing my usual morning scan and fetch of news off the Internet I came across an article that made me think of Dave so I emailed it to him. That prompted a flurry of emails and quick updates about our lives and families.

I was ecstatic to hear that Dave had faced down some very harsh demons and has been clean and sober for some months. That's such a huge thing, I'm sorry I'm not going to write hardly anything else about it. I really thought that was going to be my focus.

Until I really thought.

We hurriedly arranged to have lunch today - Dave, me...his wife and son. There was a sense of urgency to it.

I flattered myself briefly thinking perhaps I could give Dave some needed encouragement, be the kind of witness I want to be: honest and caring...reflecting a sense of peace that comes from knowing God.

Dave has been a lot of things in my life...a mirror into a dark world where I could have easily ventured further, a support system who appeared out of no where, a source of great laughter, and a subject of much prayer. He and his wife have also always shown genuine concern for me and for Amy. Even in some severely addled states, Dave's affection and caring were evident to me.

When we sat down to lunch I started with the usual banter of, "So how are you guys...etc"

Dave's response was, "So how is Amy...tell us everything."

I gave them the complete story, sparing nothing and they listened to every word. I also tried to let Dave and his family know how much they had meant to the past and now.

I did tell Dave how pleased I was that he had taken control of his life and that I was there should temptation become too tempting - it never leaves you completely...we both know that.

After lunch we said our goodbyes amid promises to get together as soon as Amy is back in town - a promise I will keep - and I drove home still under the delusion that I was "there for Dave," much as I had been when I wrote that entry one year ago.

It wasn't until I sat down to write tonight that I realized the foolishness of that.

Here was a family which had in the past year gone through their own struggles...severe, teeth clenching, gut wrenching, hard time struggles.

And they were stronger for it.

But their concern was for me...and Amy.

Who's witnessing to whom?