The following blog post is from my dear friend Lindsey Goodall. For Valentine’s Day, I invited several fellow bloggers to come together and guest blog on each other’s sites. I hope you take a moment to check out Lindsey’s other posts and follow her on Twitter as well. Enjoy.
For year’s I have been reading this blog and am so honored to have the opportunity to guest post here today! Always so moved and inspired by Gil’s writing, it would have never even occurred to me that I would be working on a piece to submit to be featured here. But had you told me the opportunity would arise and that the topic he would propose for a guest posting round robin, would be “love”. . . I would have not been surprised in the least.
More specifically, what he proposed was that several of us bloggers we write about something we love. Not someone we love, but “causes or dreams” near and dear to our hearts. We would then share our writing with another to be posted on their blog as a sort of guest post love fest celebrating Valentine’s day. Based on the alphabetical order of our last names, I was assigned to write for Gil’s blog. So here I am, writing about love on the blog of the one person in my life, who so clearly exemplifies the word for me. So, without further ado, I bring you, not a post about a cause or dream I hold dear to my heart, rather a post that will likely make the owner of this blog second guess his decision to suggest a love fest.
Gil Gonzalez values love and LIVES love more than any other human being I’ve ever known. Simply put Gil defines MAN LOVE.
Before we go any further, let me clarify here, Gil is a guys guy. I am not trying to revoke his man card here. If you know Gil in the real world or only in cyberspace, you know that Gil is a guy’s guy. He breathes sports and relishes in potty humor just like the best of them. I have no doubt that he could walk up to any man in the world and kick start a conversation about business, politics, sports or beer/tequila. Gil is 100% dude despite his capacity to love.
Gil adores his children and his A-mazing wife, Lee, in the ways you would expect a doting father and husband to do. Gil kicks it up a notch, and raises the bar for all you other Y-chromosers, though when it comes to giving love to everyone else in his life. I’ve written before about how touched I was when he took the time to protect my personal branding and then sent me a detailed explanation of why he bothered. Here’s the rub though. . . I am just one of a thousand people that Gil treats this way.
Over the years, I have seen him embrace and encourage every single person he meets. He values people and treasures relationships. The best part, is that he is not afraid to share it because of man card revocation or because of crossing any awkward social boundaries. He gives his love without limitation.
A few years ago, Gil and I jumped out of a plane together (shout out to Kara and Kelly). I was the first to jump, and as I took one glance back at my friends before flying the friendly skies, with sheer panic on his face, I saw Gil mouthing “I LOVE YOU”. While that sentiment is generally shared by those in more intimate relationships, this is what Gil does that sets him apart. He gives it so freely, that it is often received in the precisely right moment.
We were all terrified about what we were doing, having just watched the “you are going to die video”, but in the years since that experience, I’ve often felt that what he gave me, by saying those 3 little words, was really an “everything is going to be alright” at a time that I needed to hear it most in my life. Honestly, he probably just didn’t know what else to say in that incredibly adrenaline filled moment and once in a lifetime moment, but had that jump taken a horrible turn for the worse, the last words I would have heard would have been “I love you”. That, my friends, was a gift.
Today, Valentine’s day, I would encourage you to do as Gil so often does. Give the gift of the words “I love you”, without restraint. Regardless of the context of your relationship with them, share the love. Instead of hogging the love only for those only in your inner circle, spread it outside that circle to other people in your life as well!
Oh, and I love you too, Gil! It is truly and honor and a privilege to be your friend!