Foxhole Partners

Saturday, I had the pleasure of speaking at my friends’ wedding. The message I gave (transcribed below) rings true whether you know this couple or not. If you know a couple who are living in the trenches please share this with them to let them know that they have “rallying people!” Blessings to you, dear Readers, this holy week of Christmas.

Leah was my children's principal when my family was turned upside-down from divorce and foreclosure and all the other dirty bits of those years. She was a ROCK. Amazing person. Everyone should have a "Leah" in their life.

Leah was my children’s principal when my family was turned upside-down from divorce and foreclosure and all the other dirty bits of those years. She is a ROCK. A mind-blowingly amazing person. Everyone should have a “Leah” in their life.

*****

We are rallying people.

Yes, you and me. We are rallying people.

It’s what we do.

When Leah asked me to speak to you today about all the obstacles she and Roy have overcome to get to this glorious event on this day at this very moment I rallied to the cause and said yes (because, let’s be honest, who says “no” to Leah?).

The struggle I had in creating this talk to you about their obstacles was this: we know them. As the collected body here today we are not strangers to Leah and Roy. We are here because we know them. We are here because we love them. We are here because as co-workers, fraternity brothers, classmates, friends, and family we know that the journey to the place where Leah and Roy now stand hasn’t been easy.

We are rallying people.

It’s what we do.

We have rallied around our friends during their journey and know the steps they have taken because we know their story.

  • We know that the napkin Roy stuffed in the collar of his shirt on that fateful first date kept Leah from saying “yes” to another date for a really, really long time.
  • We know that having a baby while earning a PhD in Urban Leadership took dedication, insanely long hours, and a lot of support.
  • We know that Roy’s 452 days of unemployment were filled with tidal waves of emotion and doubt because as rallying people we felt that tidal wave, too.
  • Though we all may not know that Roy’s love of clutter drives Leah batty or that Leah’s 5 a.m. routine implies that everyone should be up and going and living a life on-purpose at that dark hour Leah and Roy are able to make it through these pet peeves because of the support they get from each other and from us, as rallying people.

We are rallying people.

It’s what we do.

We dress in Viking purple, wear red on Fridays, and wore royal blue the entire month of October whether we liked baseball or not because we are rallying people. It’s what we do.

We do ridiculous things like wear pink tutus and lace up our running shoes to do 5K races…or even more ridiculous…to do marathons because we believe in causes and cures for those we love because we are rallying people. It’s what we do.

We march with arms linked together or stand firm with silent fists raised in solidarity because we know that dreams once dreamed for justice, for freedom, for equality must come true.

We rally together because light must break through the darkness.

We are rallying people.

It’s what we do.

But not Leah and Roy. Nope! Not them! Certainly, they rally to our needs, our causes, our own personal tidal waves. But Leah and Roy are different.

Leah and Roy are foxhole partners.

In our current modern age of unmanned drones we may have forgotten that in the heat of battle foxhole partners are imperative for survival.

Only special people can be foxhole partners. This is what makes Leah and Roy’s journey to today so significant. We wouldn’t wish the obstacles they have faced on any new relationship, but while overcoming these obstacles Leah and Roy have proved time and time again that they have each other’s best interest at the center of their relationship. They trust the foxhole partner system.

Allow me to share Leah’s words about being a foxhole partner to Roy:

I have Roy’s back unconditionally. When it is easy and when it is almost unbearably hard there are no other options in my life than to be with Roy. So, when grenades come I do my part to shield us from them and let them explode elsewhere. Or, we walk straight through the fire hand-in-hand. I always know that no matter what we will make it through anything and everything because we are together.

You see, friends, Leah and Roy are different from us because they don’t always need a rally to make it through the day or over an obstacle. No, they overcome because they are in the trenches together getting down and dirty in this thing called life. Not everyone can do this. It takes drive and determination and the unwavering decision that no matter what they have each other’s back.

Their trench is not big enough for all of us. It’s just big enough for Roy and Leah and their children. What we can do is rally around them just as we are today to pray for them, hold them, march with them, laugh with them, and wipe their tears. Our rallying around them won’t shield them from all the obstacles but what it will do is help them carry on with great joy. We can do this. And we will do this for you, Leah and Roy.

Because we are rallying people.

 It’s what we do.

Amen.

The happy couple!

The happy couple!

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