My friend embarrassed me today...
Oh, not intentionally!
I was at the radio station, and Kim, Clint and I were talking to Mike on the speaker phone, about the upcoming 9/11 tribute event that firefighters from all over the country will come to Nashville to take part in.
They'll be climbing stairs in a local building, to commemorate the stairs climbed by the NYC Firefighters on 9/11.
It's an amazing event, and as soon as I heard about it, I thought, 'I'll bet Mike will be doing that, too.'
Mike Armistead is a local firefighter, and one of the nicest people I've ever met in my life.
He doesn't realize he embarrassed me. At least not till he reads this.
As we were ending the phone conversation, which Mike graciously took time to do with us even though he was at a crowded airport somewhere across the country, I said, 'Bye, Mike,' and he said, 'I love you.'
Now, Mike loves everybody, and everybody loves Mike.
But I hadn't gotten to run around with my musician friends, including Mike, in about 15 years or so, and I didn't expect the sweet sign-off.
So when Mike said, 'I love you,' the other day as we hung up, I was surprised, and embarrassed, and I didn't say it back!
I've been ashamed of myself ever since.
We had a little group of us who ALWAYS said, "I love you," and hugged each other when we met and when we said goodbye. We hugged each other's necks. That's how I was raised. To hug your neck when I see you.
Mike and his wife and kids were SO dear to me, but I hadn't seen them in so long that I kind of thought Mike must have FORGOTTEN by now that he DID love me at one time.
That's a friend.
So I wanna make this right: if you're one of my friends from 'the old days,' or just from recent days, and you're not absolutely CERTAIN that you could say, "I love you," and get it right back from me, then I apologize. I am so sorry.
I want you to know right now that once you're in my life, you're IN my life, and I will always love you and be here for you.
Even if we don't see each other for 15 years. Or more.
And YOU, please help me remember by being the kind of person that Mike Armistead and his whole family are, by telling me you love me any doggone time you take a notion to.
It will make my day. My week. My month.