Five years ago today, I was preparing to self-surrender to Danbury Federal prison Camp. My sentence was 30 days in Danbury, 5 months house confinement, and 3 years supervised probation. That is all behind me, all of it... probation being the last and that was completed 2 years ago.
On the night before I had to self-surrender, my best friend Ron, called me from Austin, TX where he was attending a work-related conference. He called me around 10:00pm to check in to hear what the game plan was and to see what else needed to be done on my behalf and my children. I let him know that all was done, everyone had their script, My ex would be moving back tomorrow and all the teachers and church family had the plan in place to support the kids and their Dad in my absence.
I thought that would be the end of our conversation... I thought an hour was good to fill him in and to assure him that I would be OK. He wouldn't get off the phone. He wanted to talk some more. He was nervous about me going (like other people he had a very TV based perspective of what prison would be like.... I admit I had that Hollywood sense too). So we talked some more about everything, politics, college pledging our Greek organizations, graduate school (which he recruited me for years before I actually applied and got in!). We used to do these marathon phone conversations, when we were neighbors! In those early days of friendship we would talk on the phone for hours and we lived next door to each other!
By the time the sun started to rise, I finally had to hang up. But before I did, he wanted me to be brave, be my charming self, that this will be over soon and that no one had more resolve than me. And that he loved me.
His friendship has been the most rewarding friendship of my life outside of my immediate family. He has been the most honorable man I have ever had the good fortune to know. We traveled together, we have laughed together, we have sang together. We have enjoyed a friendship that is stronger than most marriages.
He has been for me a great love of my life. He has been the father I wished I had. He has been the protective big brother. He has been my Knight in shinning armor on so many occasions. He has stood by me when so many just walked away... including my then-husband. He has never judged me. He has never been ashamed of me. He has been my biggest fan, cheerleader and confidant for well over 25 years.
I have never met a man of such honor, nobility and humanity in all my life.
God has been unbelievably good to me...sent me a friend for all seasons.