Allow me to introduce you to the fine looking gentleman holding my hand and running alongside me in this photo. His name is Daniel Lee Gale. We have been good friends for a decade. He has been a brother to me. I love him.
This first thing you need to know about Daniel is also the reason why I chose this specific photo for my #AffirmationMonday posts. Lots of times in life what we need most is not someone to be in front of us leading and giving advice. We also do not need cheerleaders cheering us on from behind. We need someone to hold our hands and go through life next to us. Daniel has done exactly that through many life storms.
1) Daniel the Best Friend. Beginning in high school, Daniel was the perfect best friend. Truly. We did incredibly stupid stuff together. He was the one person who would not only go along with anything dumb I wanted to do, but encouraged it and took it to the next level of dumb. We went on huge runs together. We played pranks on other people together. We pushed each other down hills in wheelbarrows. We bonded over running, life, girls and God.
All this being said, the best part about having Daniel as a best friend is his loyalty. Despite multiple opportunities I had (and took) to ruin our relationship during our early years of undergrad, Daniel stayed my friend. He is truly the epitome of a best friend. In every sense of the phrase.
2) Daniel the Personality. Daniel is hilarious. Dude can make anyone laugh at any time. It is truly a gift. People are drawn to Daniel. Because he is so happy and funny all of the time. Daniel also has a killer attitude towards adventure. He is always looking for a caper. At one point, it was running. A lot of running. Now it is his climbing.
The thing about Daniel is, once he gets his mind set on something, there is no going back. And I love that obsessive drive and personality. Daniel loves outside. He loves others. He loves God. I don’t know many others who would just move out to Colorado with me for the summer and then give away as many working hours as possible so we can focus on our running and other capers.
3) Dan(iel) the Man. While some dudes (like me) are slightly immature and afraid of commitment, others are starting good and productive lives. Daniel falls into the latter category. Daniel graduated college twice, fell in love with a great woman and has started a life with her. He is mature. Honestly, for someone who once asked me to punch him as hard as I could in the forehead with a Pringle’s can on my fist, it gives me hope for the maturing of anyone.
I had the great honor of standing next to Daniel as he married his love. At a time of nothing but cynicism for me towards love between two people in general, I watched Daniel’s face as his love walked into the church sanctuary and then towards him. I watched his eyes. In his eyes I saw nerves change to disbelief of the beauty he was witnessing to adoration and finally to tears. I witnessed a well of emotions through his eyes. And I realized, not only that my brother had become a man but he also had found someone in life that could bring intense emotions at the very sight of her. And I found another level of love and respect for him.
I have learned much from Daniel. I have learned about excitement for life. I have learned about forgiveness. I have learned about the diversity and dynamics of love.
Love you, bro.