me and Stanly inside The Yellow Studio - June 17, 2010
Today's show mostly features audio that was recorded here inside The Yellow Studio on the weekend of July 17, 2010. My lifelong best friend Stanley came to visit. I want you to lean more heavily into the close friendships you've got. Make more of them. Do it today. The moments are precious.
Heb. 11:4 "By faith Abel offered unto God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, through which he had witness borne to him that he was righteous, God bearing witness in respect of his gifts: and through it he being dead yet speaketh."
The point is, our influence lives on even after we pass. Today's episode is more literal.
Back on May 12, 2015 I published a blog post with this same title. It was the second anniversary of the death of my lifelong friend, Stanley James Elmore (April 11, 1957 - May 12, 2013). The blog post didn't stay online all that long. I took it down fearing I had shared too much. You'd have thought I'd have learned better.
Because I had recorded a podcast episode on May 9, 2013 just days before Stanley died. I took my digital recorder with me to the gym that day. I never went inside the gym. Instead, I sat outside in my car. It was rainy and you could hear the rain hitting the roof of my car as I poured out my heart. It was the most intensely personal podcast I'd ever recorded and admittedly, it was selfish. It was self-therapy. I took the episode down after a bit because I just didn't think I was being fair to you, the listener.
Two things prompt today's show. One, lately I've had a few dreams about Stanley. Nothing extraordinary, just dreams where he and I are doing what we often did - talking and cutting up. Laughing. Being snarky. Two, within recent months a few people have asked about that episode I recorded in my car. Evidently they listened to it and remembered it.
Okay, I've got a third reason. The memory of somebody I loved very much. It never goes away. My heart isn't as heavy as when I first lost him, but I have many days where I look at my phone and stare at his contact info...wishing he were just a click away.
Okay, there's a fourth reason, too. And this one involves YOU. As I keep pressing along with Project #CravingEncouragement I want to leverage the story of my friendship with Stanley to encourage you to take advantage of today to reach out to somebody who is important to you. I know there are many reasons why friendships lose their zest. And there are often valid reasons why people grow apart. I'm not going to be presumptuous to urge you to repair those. If you want to, do it. If it's possible. But instead, I'm encouraging you to lean more heavily into those relationships that ARE important, but perhaps some things haven't been said that ought to be said. Or they haven't been said in a long time. Make today the day you say them. Be brave. Be bold. Be courageous. You'll be glad you did.
Now for some context. There are lots of podcasts with friends talking and while I appreciate the endeavor, as a listener I rarely find value. I respect the fact that the audio is recorded and those people will be thankful they did a show together. That doesn't mean I get it. So frequently there are these inside jokes that only friends can understand. There's the context of our friendship that few others can appreciate or understand. I know it was that way for me and Stanley.
But I want to provide you some context and along the way I'm going to share some recorded conversations that took place right here inside The Yellow Studio in July 2010. All I want you to listen for is the lifelong connection between two guys who were in their early 50's at the time. Two guys who had known each other since birth. I just want you to hear the connection and love --- not to think about US, but to think about yourself and whoever is that for you. I want you to be very selfish. I want you to think about yourself,