Happy Birthday Kevin

In November, my dear friend Kevin celebrated his birthday. I must write this note to him. It is long over due.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY KEVIN!

 

I’ve known Kevin for MOST of my life. By most I mean at the very least for 20 years! I can’t say that for most people. I think that, in and of itself is something phenomenal about us. A 20 year friendship that has grown, evolved, changed and progressed from when I was a child to the woman I am today. Kevin has been a rock for me. An encourager. A mentor. A friend. A shoulder to cry on. A teacher. An adviser. I’ve told things to Kevin I haven’t the guts to share with anyone else. Kevin has truly seen me at my worse. What I love about him is that during those times his response has been, “Get over yourself!” He knows which buttons of mine to push with the right amount of pressure so that I get the point and that is an artistic ability that not everyone possesses. He is patient with me. Gentle yet firm. He is kind yet honest. He’s really the perfect kind of friend.

I know. I know that I rave about my friends when they have their birthdays and I make them sound like the best thing on earth but I mean every word. And I know things change and not everyone has their shit together and people mess up and hurt you and even my friends who I elevate to gods and goddess have their issues too. Trust me, I’m not wearing rose colored glasses but I’m also fully aware of their dignity, honor and holiness and it is something so grand to me that writing these letters is essential.

So back to Kevin, who means so much to me. First, let me tell you about Kevin. Kevin is a writer. In fact, he is one of my favorite writers. I’m sure you know the worth I put into books, characters and stories. At any moment I could be reading five to ten books at a time. Currently I’m reading eight. Books mean the world to me. Authors are gods. They are the best people on the planet. Their minds should be insured for one billion dollars. And Kevin, he is my favorite. We may have an incredible friendship but I am the BIGGEST fan of his scripts. I quote them. I forget that the characters are not real. I reference them like they are friends of mine until I remember it was simply one of his stories. His stories haunt me. I dream about them. I fantasize about them. I want to be in them. And he lets me read them all! I get that priviledge and its crazy. Not only that, he lets my critique them. He takes my feedback and works with it, listens to it and sometimes he even uses those suggestions. That’s incredible to me. I hope you have the priveledge one day of reading one of his many works. They will blow your mind away.

While I’ve known Kevin for 20 years, our friendship really took off during my college years. During that time we were communicating often about life, art, family and any and everything. What I appreciate about that time then and our friendship right now is that I do not have to use filters around Kevin. My thoughts do not disturb him. They don’t appall him. I can’t say that about everyone. Not even all my friends are like that. Which is fine. I understand. But Kevin is different than that. I can be any articulation of myself no matter what and somehow he finds beauty in it. Its quite phenomenal to me. I suppose its the essence of pure love, of which our friendship is comprised of.

I want to share some of our exchanges. Just bits and pieces.

I once gave Kevin a script of mine to read. After ripping bits of it to shreds while still liking the premise, I love that he wrote….

You probably think I’m hard on you. Maybe I am. I’m tapping into the genius in you now, because I know its there. The idea itself is exceptional. The writing, therefore, must be as well to make it an exceptional piece of work….not good…exceptional. ~ Kevin

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After updating my resume soon after my my college graduation, Kevin wrote the following to me….

I saw your resume. It encompassed all you’ve been doing in the past years and made me realize how proud I am of you. I love you very much and keep pushing for excellence. Your future is bright but with a positive mind and life, you will be a light for those coming behind you. Keep shining. I see you, my dear, and its lovely! ~ Kevin

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This note is one of my favorites from Kevin.

 Haven’t sat and talked to you in a while. I missed our conversations…tea…lattes…etc. til 3 in the morning or in the middle of the day, engaging conversation with you in a room full of people, and we’re the only ones there.

how’s the artist in you? are you nuturing my gifted artist, so bright and overflowing with ideas and creativity, the one who sees the world as her canvas, and dares to paint her own pictures…in spite of what others think. how’s the girl in you? you know, the fragile one that has to be handled with caution and tlc, the one who cries when no one else sees, and sometimes doesn’t care who sees. she just needs to be held. how is she? tell her i love her very much, and i’m always here. how’s the woman in you? the one about the business, the goal setter, the academic scholar, the wise, the great dancer :) how is my sheena? ~ Kevin

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And yet another from him…..
I’m always proud of you, Sheena. Know that. When you’re on top and shininng or when you are struggling in the mud with inner demons…I’m always proud. My “kid” has become a woman, and with all the good and bad, you are what you are and I’m so proud to call you friend. Keep moving forward. Keep learning. Keep your mind open. Keep your heart open…open it some more…a little pain is always possible, but there’s more joy if you just keep it open. ~ Kevin.

Another from him. It was after a series of emails in which we talked on an uncomfortable topic. It ended with this gentleness.
i guess a part of me wanted to protect you too. but maybe you don’t need protecting. i have a habit of doing that. you may know that already. and i agree, that would be an awesome study. and you could have told me you didn’t like comedy shows. i’m guessing you came because i asked though. thats appreciated. but in case i forget, don’t let me take you to another one, because i might ask. i’m like the absent minded professor when it comes to remembering stuff like that. ~ kevin
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Another note from kevin. I think this one means the most to me because I was struggling with ALL of men. I was in a hate/hate relationship with parts of my personality and I wanted to murder certain parts of me. He wrote….
you were on my mind. looking forward to spending some time with you. i love our friendship. i love you. i love the kind of friend you are. i love the way you love me…from a very close distance…not in a bad way…i guess time is what makes things as they are to be. over time we’ve gotten closer although we’ve always had the connection… ~ Kevin
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In this note, I wrote a letter to Kevin. This is an excerpt….
Also, you’ve been a friend, a mentor, a teacher and more during all these years and again, I cherish it. You are one of my oldest friends. Did you know that? I appreciate the depth of our friendship and I just wanted to take the time to tell you that.
I just had so much fun pouring over all our emails and you’ve just been so steady with me, so very caring, sweet, hard and difficult but so loving with me and that doesn’t happen every day so I want to make sure that you know that I know and that I appreciate it and that its my hope that our friendship grows for 50 more years and more and more and more.
Remember when I was just addicted to the power of my seduction and basking in it like a crackhead. I told you all of my secrets.  Yea, ok wow. You know, you’re the only person that knows about some of those things? And among my self deprecating email and woos you pretty much told me to grow the fuck up… in a sweet, loving way. Makes my heart warm.
Thank you Kevin for being such an integral part of my life for most of my life. I appreciate everything about you. I love you, especially your mind. Your mind is so incredible. It delights me. I hope for us to be friends forever. You are very essential to me.
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I love Kevin. I am so glad and honored to call him my friend.  I enjoy the dynamic between us. His mind blows me away and he’s just a lot of fun to be around. The conversations are ALWAYS guranteed to be lively. Kevin rocks my world.

Kevin, you know how much you mean to me! Thank you for being you, for sharing yourself and always pushing me. I appreciate it all!

 

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