Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Brothers from another Mother

Sonny's Best friend, Justin Tuft has been staying with us the past few days.
As always, We are having the greatest time with our good friend telling stories, "chillin the most", and laughing our guts out over old jokes and Tuft's latest ones. I tell you the kid is as witty as can be.
I can tell Sonny is loving having his good bud around the house.
I don't think I have ever seen better friends than these two.
I got to be a part of their "in" crowd about 7 years ago when Sonny put a ring on it. :)
I definitely don't think I realized back then just how much their friendship would impact my life for the good.

Sonny and Tuft go waaaay back.
They've been friends since 7th grade.
Their story: They were drawn together because they were both awkward, shy kids back in the corner of the Jr. High dances kicking balloons at the wall. They met there and decided "why not kick balloons together? Two awkward shy kids is better than one. right?"
I think there was a little more to it than that, but heck, I'll go with it.
They became fast best friends. Neither of them had to say much to understand what the other was thinking. I've heard many stories of them skipping out on parties to sit in the hot tub, down some sparkling cider, and make up rhyming songs. I know. It sounded a little "gay" to me in the beginning too, but once I got to know these two together it was quite a magical thing.
Justin has always put it best when he says, "We're just brothers from another mother."
So true. They are brothers.
They've been there for each other thru everything.
Parent divorces, broken bones, broken hearts, cancer treatments, and a lot of disappointments.
They said no to drugs together, made some decent decisions and got each other out on missions too.
They always believed in one another and pushed the other to do their very best in all things.
I know I have said it before, but when I married Sonny, It really was a package deal.
If I didn't like Justin (and vise versa)...well, that was it for me.
Luckily, Justin is and has always been one of the greatest people I've ever known, so I absolutely didn't mind having him over 3-4 nights a week for dinner.
He came along on trips, movie nights, and even my family reunions too.
He was at the hospital with me after Sonny's first cancer treatment and he was the first person Sonny called when we thought Lulu might have down syndrome.
He was part of Sonny's family and quickly became mine as well.

As you all probably know by now (if you read my old blog at all) September 7, 2006 Justin left our home on his Harley and was hit head on by a van.
He suffered a traumatic brain injury and several other injuries including a stroke that has left his left side partially paralyzed.
It has been a long and difficult road for Justin and his family and I could write a hundred posts on the many ways that they (his mom and sister) have become heroes in my life, but for this post I just want to write about my sweet hubby and a friendship that has endured it all.
See, this morning, I opened my eyes at about 6:30 and witnessed the most beautiful scene.
My husband shaving his best friend's face and head.
I know it doesn't sound like much but the tenderness of it took my breath away.
I could see it all through the reflection of my bedroom mirror into the bathroom by the sink.
Justin was sitting in his wheelchair with a towel around his neck. His face and head were covered in shaving cream and Sonny was gently and smoothly working away.
They weren't saying much except for the occasional soft whispered thank you from Justin.
I had to wipe away my tears staring at this scene and I reflected on how much these two have taught me about friendship. Nothing has broken them and nothing ever will.
I have watched Sonny fall to his knees in desperate prayer to save his friend, take on Dr.'s who weren't willing to give him a chance, stand by a bedside for an hour waiting for a hand squeeze, and shed a hundred tears when he heard his familiar nickname "Sonny Red" whispered.
He has fed, clothed, bathed, washed, wiped, stretched, walked, and loved his friend any and every moment that Justin has needed him.
It has been so humbling and beautiful to watch,
and the one time that I asked Sonny why he felt like he needed to wake up at 6:30 in the morning to head over to Kolob to feed Justin before work, he replied,
"Because he would do it all for me...only 10x better."
It's true.
I always knew they were best friends, but I don't think I realized how much deeper their bond really was. It's like they were placed on this earth for each other.
Justin needed Sonny and Sonny needed Justin.
I needed them both.
I have learned so much from these two men in my life.
Justin teaches me to live life to the fullest, to see the good in everyone, to pray like you mean it, to love and appreciate the little things in life like tying my shoes, to say thank you, to laugh when you feel like crying, and to smile...a lot.
And Sonny has taught me tenderness, kindness, love, and how to serve when no one's watching.
(among other things) :)
That sweet little moment I viewed this morning will forever change me.
I will always love my sweet husband a little more for giving tender service to a dear friend and I will always be impacted with Justin's soft and boundless gratitude.
It was a good sunrise.

the end.


Terry said...

That post needs to be written in a magazine somewhere, and I'll help find a place. It has brought me to tears. Sooo beautiful. I have watched your friendship for many years. You are all angels in each others lives.

debbie joy said...

this post is beautiful. I felt as if I had also been witness to this tender scene. Dad was just asking yesterday if these two were still as close. I guess it is pretty obvious yes they are and always will be. You are all heroes to me. MOM

Rachel said...

I agree with the post above (this needs to be printed in a magazine)! Tears...

glasshousesrfun said...

I understand some of the trials you have gone through and helped justin with as my dad suffered a TBI in July of 2005. I am amazed to hear about your husband being such a great friend and never leaving him. Awesome you are a lucky woman :)

Trav and Britt said...

i'm so glad that i can keep up on your blog! you're so awesome! this really is a neat story :)

Ashlee said...

Thanks a lot Kristin! This post has me all teared up at work and people are asking me whats wrong!
We are so lucky to have Justin in our lives and you and Shawn are so amazing for doing all that you do for him.

ps- You probably should have listened to your english teacher and been an author... your writing is beautiful!

Paul said...

Wow, wonderful story, much compassion and love. Christlike service. I'm glad that you are by niece.
Uncle Paul

Broadhead Family said...

Thank you for sharing that sweet story!! I am having a hard time holding back the tears- love you!