the gift of friendship: Alan


As I’m writing about friendship this Christmas & thinking about the many precious friendships I have, I have realized that each friend brings something rich and unique into our life.

Something without which life would be slightly ‘flatter’.

We’d never met. I recieved an invitation: we must come for supper at their home. The first time this ever happened to me. Invited to supper by someone I do not know.

It was late afternoon as I walked into their home. A magnificently creative space set in the heart of a forest. Alan was preparing prawn for the grill. He welcomed me. Poured some wine for us. We spoke easily and comfortably.

They had moved to Port Elizabeth from Johannesburg at about the same time we moved here from Bray.

We came here for different reasons.

I came here convinced that this is where a new chapter would start. Perhaps our reasons were not so different. They came persuing a new chapter as well.

What attracted me to Alan was his spirit. A generous one. In the moment he would give his only pair of shoes to someone who he believes needs them more. His generosity goes further than that though. He would give people of himself. He would give them opportunity. He would give them the benefit of doubt and the benefit of faith.

Generous empathy, i think that could describe this man’s heart, as he is able to transport himself into another’s shoes and ‘understand’.

He is able to be excited about someone’s success while his own success is looming.

He is able to come alongside you, even if no one comes alongside him.

I admire him for his bravery. His resilience. His heart full of hope. His ability to see past the challenge of the moment and reach for the victory of tomorrow. His ability to help others see past the challenge of the moment, encouraging us to see tomorrow’s beauty.

I admire him for the way in which he loves his Tania and their boys.

And I am gratefull.

Gratefull for the kinship we may know and as the years merge into decades I see us knowing each other and enabling each other and ‘becoming’ together.

Yes, friendship is immensily valuable and rare.

How fortunate am I to be surrounded by so many wonderful people who freely choose to share my life and spend their time and hearts in my presence.


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4 thoughts on “the gift of friendship: Alan

  1. I too know this Alan you talk of. I too am immensely grateful for this man of honour and love. He is a man of deep friendship and compassion, and I am forever grateful that he chose me. Thank you for recognising him T.

  2. I too know this Alan he is my cousin. All you say that is him we nine days apart and i love him to bits. He has loved his Taan for as long as i can remember. Through God and the love they have for each other nothing is impossible for them as they grow old together and watch their beautiful boys grow into lovely young men, husbands and fathers. xxxxxxxx Cindy

  3. I also want to salute this beautiful, dark, handsome ‘love’ of my nieces Taan’s life! I have loved your honesty, your playfulness, your authenticity and commitment and faithfulness to your family Al! You are unique and you have married one helluva unique chick! Fascinated how God brought your together at such a young age, thank you too for the value you place on relationships. Love maine xxx
    PS – I am going to try that carrot cake recipe and see if it is still as good as you say it is! Will let you know.

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