Welcome to another Grateful Heart Monday, where gratitude remains the only focus in my writing at the start of every week, which for today is for my dear friend Darrell McCarthy, someone who gave me a second chance after failing to be there for him at a very difficult point in his life.
Over two decades ago, when I used to live in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area, I met Darrell and we quickly became friends. We went to church together, took trips together, went out on weekend nights to bars and clubs together, and well frankly, we hung out a lot. He was one of my closest friends for the longest of time. But, when I moved away from the D.C. area, our connection became limited to phone calls and text messages and were more and more infrequent the longer time passed without us seeing each other in person. I never stopped caring about him, as I’m sure the same was true with him, it’s just that with not living in the same vicinity or even within a short driving distance to each other, life moved on for the both of us.
Darrell met someone pretty awesome not too long after I had left the area, a guy named Randy, who eventually became his husband. They would go on to spend many, many years together, until one day when Randy tragically passed away due to some serious health issues. By that point, Darrell and I were probably communicating about once a year over the phone and occasionally via Facebook. Given that I don’t follow anyone on Facebook and have an empty newsfeed, I didn’t even know his partner had died until another friend had let me know. I had every intention to contact Darrell to offer him my condolences when I learned of this, but instead, somehow, I forgot. How I forgot I don’t even know at this point, but zoom forward to more than two years later, when just recently I found myself thinking about Darrell quite a bit, wondering how he was, when I noticed on Facebook we were no longer connected as friends. I reached out and messaged him to ask why and that’s when he reminded me I had completely forgotten to even reach out back when his husband had passed. He was pretty upset, which I totally understood, as I would have felt the same if the role had been reversed. I’m grateful to say though that after talking with him on the phone a few days later, that he accepted my heart-felt apology and amends and still wanted to be my friend. The whole experience was truly a humbling one because I do deeply care about Darrell, especially as he’s someone who was there for me through many of my own tragedies and traumas of life.
So, yes, I’m very much grateful for my friend Darrell for accepting my apology and amends and still wanting to reconnect with me. It says a lot about the type of guy he really is and always has been. Loyal, caring, compassionate, and extremely funny, especially when he talks of his singing idol Mariah Carey or his guilty food pleasure, that being Krispy Kreme donuts, I can’t imagine a life without Darrell being a part of it, even if we are separated by many miles these days. That’s why I’ve dedicated today’s Grateful Heart Monday to you Darrell, as you have given me much to be grateful for today through your forgiveness of my forgetfulness over a very painful part of your life. Thank you, my dear friend.
Peace, love, light, and joy,
Andrew Arthur Dawson