Somewhere along the line, Dave and I stopped referring to each other by our first names.  We called each other “mi hombre.”  Fact to face, on the phone, the salutation in our emails.    I can’t remember when I last addressed him by his given name.

“Mi  hombre” quite literally means “my man.”  But it means more than that.  A special friend.  One who has your back.  One who is loved.  A kindred spirit.  A member of the family.

He started it.  He asked me if he could call me “mi hombre” explaining that I was more than just a coach trying to get him to do things my way or the right way, I was trying to help him find “his” way to move things forward, that I dug in and learned that “his” way might be unconventional or different but I would help him understand how to find “his” way.  That I had his interests in my heart.  Nothing more and nothing less.

Of course I agreed, and referred to him the same way in return, not initially understanding the full meaning of his honorific for me.  I came to realize over time, that he had my back too, that he was a special friend that I loved, that I could count on, that was a brother from another mother.

He was different.  Quirky. All over the map. Full of ADD. Coming at you from all sorts of different directions.  Yet he always lead with his heart and with a smile, a real one that conveyed he was glad to see you, glad to assist you, glad to be engaged with you.

Maureen and his children will be in my prayers for quite some time, I’m sure.

“Mi hombre” will be on one of my prayer lists too, but a different one.  He’ll be on the list of those that have gone before me that I ask each day to pray for me and to walk with me as I go forth trying to be a man for others.

A “hombre para los demás”  like “mi hombre” was.