"It's been seven years and Stuart is the recipient of the Jimmy V Award for perseverance and he said in his amazing speech . . . that sometimes when you don't have the strength, you need your friends to step up a little bit and help you. So, Stuart, we want you to know we're sending you some extra strength and to keep fighting that fight."
I thought it was a nice gesture, and a good article. What really struck me, though, was the part I underlined in the above excerpt. I had forgotten about one of the last times I talked with the person who was chairman of the church board when I took what I thought was a sabbatical, and was subsequently let go.
It was a well-known fact at the time that I was burned out. I was seeing a counselor and was basically just "holding on" until I could start the sabbatical. I went to lunch with the chairperson, and at one point he asked what the council could do for me; how could they best help? I remember clear-as-day telling him that what I really needed more than anything... was for them to be my friends right now (which I thought they were). It was along the exact same lines as Stu Scott meant: because sometimes you don't have the strength, and you need your friends to step up a little bit and help you.
That's what has puzzled me the most about this whole dang affair with the former church. I don't know how, why or when they went from being my "friends"... to being people who wouldn't even talk to me (or my wife). It took less than 6 weeks and they apparently completely changed their minds, wouldn't offer an explanation, wouldn't meet with us, and have had absolutely nothing to do with us for well over a year now. It just boggles my mind.
Anyway... whatever... I don't think about it much anymore, but when I read that comment... it reminded me of that conversation in the Huntington Wendy's. Seems like a long, long time ago. And I obviously have no idea what it means to be a friend.