I had lunch this week with one of my favourite people on the planet.
My wife, Gimalle introduced me to her more than 14 years ago and shortly thereafter she took a leave of absence from her job as a police officer and worked with me on one of the most fun and enjoyable projects I have worked on in my entire career.
While we were working on this project she bravely bought a struggling business that provided a service she was very passionate about and has worked tirelessly to build it into an enormous success today.
But it is neither her business acumen nor the many successes she has experienced in her life that make her so very special.
Those accomplishments pale into insignificance when measured against the kindness of her heart and the gentleness of her soul.
She is one of those rare people who listened and learned when their mothers told them that if they have nothing good to say about a person then they should say nothing at all.
She is a true first responder.
Not the kind who shows up in a uniform with a gun or a hose or an ambulance but the kind who is always available to answer any calls for help.
She is one of those rare people who positively impacts everyone she meets.
She is always there to listen when listening is needed, to console when consoling is needed, to encourage when encouragement is needed and to just be there when just having present someone who cares is needed.
She frequently opens her home to others who have found themselves at crossroads in their lives and they are always welcome to stay as long as necessary.
She opens her wallet to many in need, freely and with no strings attached.
She quietly leaves bags filled with groceries at the doors of those she knows to be struggling.
And perhaps most importantly, she always give her time to those who need time.
These are but a few of her many wonderful deeds.
And she quietly does all of this with no expectation of reward or recognition. No fanfare whatsoever. In fact, the only way to learn of her goods deeds is from others.
She is a person of deep faith who believes that service to others is the greatest work of all and that the way to make the world a better place is to make one person a happier person.
And then to do it again and again and again.
She is the truest of true friends – the kind who never judges harshly, looks for, and finds, the good in everyone, forgives all transgressions and does all in her power to help her many friends succeed.
She is one of those extraordinary people whose very presence brightens each room she enters and who leaves everyone she encounters in a better state than when she arrived.
She is a true teacher from whom I have learned many lessons that have helped me at different times and in different phases of my life.
And perhaps the most important lesson she has taught me is the lesson about what is really important in life.
It’s an invaluable lesson we all need to learn.
Her name is Deb deWaal and I am indeed both blessed an honoured to have her as a friend.
I can only hope that in my lifetime I can aspire to become half as good a person as she is.
By the way, her husband David is a pretty remarkable guy too.
Tough cop on the outside, marshmallow on the inside.
A fabulous couple.
May we all be blessed with friends like them.
Till we read again.
P.S. A few weeks ago I was asked by a reader to write a blog on a particular topic. I was able to do that and really enjoyed the challenge. If you have a topic you would like me to write about please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will do my best to accommodate your request.
P.P.S. Last week I offered a free copy of my book Life Sinks or Soars – the Choice is Yours to the first 25 people who emailed their mailing address to me. Apparently arithmetic is not my strong suit as 187 books were mailed from my office this week.