Today is the birthday of my best friend (aside from you, of course, Atticus) and mentor of all things Catholic. Jack and I have been friends since we were teenagers and now that we're getting so unbelievably old that translates into almost 2/3 of our lives.
When I first met Jack, we were in high school speech class together. I didn't believe in much of anything. My spiritual journey and my questioning were just beginning. Jack was on his own spiritual journey, beginning to drift away from the Catholicism with which he'd been raised. His spiritual travels took him into Zen Buddhism, and in and out of many other ideas and philosophies. But as a seeker of Truth, he landed squarely back in the Catholic Church and was available to answer all my questions along the way. Because he had left, questioned and returned, he was an incredible source of information. He knew why he was Catholic, he had chosen to return to it and therefore, he could tell me the "whys" in ways I'd never heard before.
He was always patient, always loving, always ready to answer every question, from the most simplistic to the most combative. But always with love, and always with honesty. He didn't flinch at Truth, and he challenged me not to flinch at it, either.
Had we not both been speech and drama geeks in high school who knows where I would be today? Thank you, Jack, for being a speech geek, a Catholic, and my dear, forever friend.