Reflections on a Friendship

>> Sunday, September 17, 2006

For some reason, I'm not exactly sure why, a certain person has been in my thoughts for several days. I first met him in the fall of 1999 when I began my graduate work at OSU. I knew from the moment I laid eyes on him that he and I were going to have a great relationship, but I had no I idea what he would come to mean to my life and how deep a friendship we would cultivate.

I've known this person for over seven years now, and in that seven years he has seen me go through a tremendous amount of turmoil and upheaval in my life. Indeed, he was the first one to know of my feelings for Steph, for it was on a cold and snowy February afternoon that I ran to his office in the Seretean Center, and with tears streaming down my cheeks, confessed to him of the forbidden love that would tear my life and the lives of my family apart. He sat and listened without judgment, but with tremendous concern for me and for the impact that a love like this would have on me and upon my family. Then when there was nothing else to be said, he threw his arms around me in an embrace and said, "Welcome to my side of the fence, darling!"

Since then, Allen Scott has been there beside me through every major event in my life. When Steph was so ill with ear infections that she couldn't get out of bed and I had to go to Texas to get my grandmother, Allen called to check on her, making sure that she was alright. When news got out of my mother's death, Allen came to our home with food, comfort, a listening ear, and a shoulder to cry on. In fact, Allen was the only person during that time who gave in such a manner. He repeated the same gesture a little over a year ago when Steph's mother died. Allen was there for me with support and friendship when I went through the hell of losing my children. He was the one who encouraged me to keep going when I didn't feel as if I had any resources of strength or perseverance left. He has been there beside Steph and me in our sorrows and our triumphs with his encouragement and amazing sense of humor, class, and style. Allen served as the chair of my graduate committee, and during my tenure at OSU, on two different occasions, I was blessed to sit under his instruction. Without Allen Scott, the world would know a whole lot less about Anna Storace, for it was Allen who encouraged and inspired me in my research on her. He was present at the party that was filmed and made into one of the scenes in Mozartballs. (Of course, he would be the one opening the champagne!) Allen has always been there to support and encourage me whenever I perform. He came to see me in the role of Katisha in The Mikado, when my own voice professor couldn't find it worth her time to come, and when Steph and I gave our screening party for Mozartballs, he was one of the most excited, most enthusiastic members of the audience, staying well into the wee hours of the morning to again, discuss the implications of this film upon Steph and my lives.

I can name on one hand the people who have been this important, and this close to my life. Each have contributed in profound and in different ways. I have been blessed to have people like these, who have loved unconditionally, who have supported and encouraged, and done it all without thought of themselves or what was in it for them. And among them is Allen, who will always be regarded as one of the dearest.



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