I'm not talking about my husband or brother. I'm talking about random men that the universe plants in your own little world, in it's own time. Usually people come into our lives to teach us a lesson. Sometimes it's about love or compassion. Sometimes it's about anger or hurt. Right now there are several men in my life who are here for a reason. I'm still learning from them. I'm not going to use real names here.
Spiritual Giants: There are a few. Some of them write articles or blogs online. I hang onto every word. I like learning from anyone, but when they are older, wiser, and spiritually mature it's natural for me to be drawn to them. The ones that I know and see encourage me to be the best person I can be. I like that. I want to be more like them, because they are so much like Christ. You can't go wrong there.
Brothers: "Ray" and I speak at work nearly every day. It's always briefly, but in those moments we have learned that our pasts are so similar, it's uncanny. I'm a couple years older than him. We were born in the same hospital in Gary, IN. We went to the same high school in Lake Station, IN. We didn't know each other then. We both lived in the Ann Arbor, MI area at the same time. Now, we not only both live in Cookeville, we work at the hospital together. He asks me a lot of questions starting with "Have you ever..." been to Mackinac? Of course, what Michigander hasn't? We talk about the hotels, horses, tours, and restaurants. Next day. "Have you ever been to the Big House?" If you are familiar with MI you know he is not referring to the slammer. Even the other guys around us get in on that and say they'd love to go there someday. They haven't been. Ray and I have. Recently, he said to me, and anyone else who would listen, that we have the same eyes. I said he must be my brother from another mother. He said, in all seriousness, "I consider you a sister."
Dr. P: Good guy. Smart guy. Chain smoker. He's the doc who gives me free medical advice. Please no comments about how that's unethical and illegal. Not interested. He takes smoke breaks illegally (see, he doesn't care either) on the loading dock at the hospital. I walk over and ask him questions about anything from dog bites to migraines. If I thought I was being a pest, I'd stop, but I think he enjoys chatting. He has even come looking for me to ask another question, (You ask a doctor one, they respond with twenty!) or tell me something else he thought of that may be helpful. Good guy.
Jay: I trust him implicitly. He has been my sounding board a million times on dozens of issues. Occasionally, he may offer advice, but usually he just listens. I appreciate that because it is a lost art. Finally, a man who doesn't try to one-up all the time. ie: "You think that is bad? One time I...." He doesn't try to "fix it" like most guys. He knows it's my struggle. I have to figure it out on my own, but it is nice to have him to listen to me vent. I'm sure he has thought, "Deb, I really don't need to know this," but has been kind, and never said it.
One guy carries a little torch for me. There I said it. Don't spread vicious rumors. It's perfectly harmless. I'm an old married lady, so it's kind of an ego boost when a guy thinks I'm swell.
The Father Figure: Not only old enough to be my father, but demands respect. He lets me know when I screwed up, and doesn't bother to be kind and gentle about it. Just basically, "You really screwed that up, kid." Old folks have already lived through what us "kids" are just now getting around to learning. Recently, at the barber shop, a bunch of us were talking about raising kids, having teenagers, wanting to be their buddies but knowing we really have to be parents. An old gentleman getting his haircut sat there smiling the entire time. He never piped up. He's been there, done that, been around that mountain. He knows. He knows.
I'm blessed to have such great men in my life.