When my children were small, lightening storms and loud noises stressed them. Living in the south, fireworks and thunder storms are frequent uninvited guests.
I came up with a solution for their fear that made an indelible mark on them. The calming mechanism I taught them for their unsettled feelings they now teach their own children.
As my young children would run to me fearful, I would simply open my coat or robe, and say, “Come into my un-scared coat”, and I would envelop them. It was a promise to them that within my presence, wrapped inside my jacket, they had no reason to fear, everything would be alright.”
I have in my life my own “unscared” coat, but it’s not a piece of fabric. My coat is a friend named Jeff. Jeff is everything you’d want in a companion; strong, loyal, fiercely protective of those he loves, and most importantly in his presence, you feel safe.
Early on in our friendship, I asked his wife how they met. She extolled his amazing qualities, and his sweet character traits. In the middle of her praise, I interrupted her and said, “You couldn’t help but love him because of your mom, I mean, “Haven’t we always heard that choosy mother’s choose Jeff?” It was a hilarious pun at the expense of a Jif peanut butter slogan.
Jeff came to mind one late night in January as I returned home from major back surgery. As my wife pulled up outside our home, I quickly realized that I would never be able to navigate the thirteen steps needed to get into my front door. So at 10 pm, I called my “coat” Jeff. As if waiting by the phone for my call for help, He arrived with his sweet wife and steadied me on my climb inside.
Despite my sedated condition, I jokingly told his wife once safely inside that we now had something in common, “We both feel safe in her husband’s arms.” Jeff merely laughed.
As I count my blessings each day, I count as one of them my friend. It’s not often you find someone whose heart and body mirror the size a granite monument. I didn’t tell you that my friend has also been recognized for being the best police officer in our city.
For me, that’s not bad company to keep. In fact, in his presence he makes me feel “unscared”. There’s not many people in my life that I can say that about.