Love is Russ.

My friend Russ. He is kind, caring, trustworthy and thoughtful. He has helped strangers stranded in the road. Opened his home to people who have had nowhere to live. Even trucked home groceries for someone who didn’t have enough room in their own vehicle.

We met at work. In fact on my first day I went to the lunch room and all the tables were full except one that had one person sitting there. It was Russ. I asked if I could join him. Of course he said yes. I asked how long he has worked for the company. He said this was his first day. I was excited and said ‘mine too’!! We have been friends ever since.

Many a date Russ, Marilee and I have gone on together. A booze cruise, the auction that you drink at, dinner, dancing. We enjoy each others company.

It was that auction we were at when I told Russ. Marilee and I were whispering about the cancer. He stopped us and said ‘I know there is something wrong, I can see it in your face just tell me, I can handle it’ So I told him. He was quiet for what felt like a very long moment then said “you are going to beat it” Simple as that.

After my surgery I couldn’t shower. So I had an appointment at the local beauty college. Russ asked if we could get coffee some time soon. If I was able. He missed seeing me at work. I said we could meet at the Thomas Hammer downtown after I get my hair washed. He was the first friend I saw outside of my home after surgery. It was great. His smile and laugh made me feel at ease even with all the drains attached. He didn’t care he just wanted to see me for himself to make sure I really was okay.

Valentines day of 2016 I get a text from Russ. Hey, I left something at your front door. Flowers and chocolate. Just so thoughtful.

One of the greatest gifts he has ever given me was introducing me to his friends Kathy and Scott. Kathy came with Russ to my Zumba classes and she and I hit it off. She is sweet and kind. Her husband (Scott) was recovering from intestinal/stomach cancer. I would often ask Russ for updates on a man I have never met. Then one day Scott came to work as the maintenance manager where I work. One day Scott sat with me for lunch. He shared his story with me. Turns out he went with the same cancer clinic I did. He talked about how great they were. How through everything the clinic was supportive and kind and informative. He never questioned his care. I was questioning if I made the right choice, I had friends telling me I didn’t. This was the reassurance I needed. The peace for my heart and head. What a blessing and he had no idea! If it wasn’t for Russ I may never had this moment.

Russ  hugs and smiles and cares. My life is so much richer having him in it.

Love is Russ.

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