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In the fall of the school year before I met Doug in January, I had become friends with another young man on campus. At the time I thought Tommy was pushing 30. He was not like anyone else my age. His reading material was astounding and frankly, rivaled some of the professors’. It was only surpassed by his ability to articulate it. If I had not known he was a student, I would have assumed he was one of the instructors. Little did I know he was 19 going on 20 at the time!

Tommy and I had countless conversations, and I always learned something valuable from them. Some had a profound effect. One time he was explaining what he was learning in a class called “The History of the Philosophy of Education.” There were so many gems he threw out in that discussion, and I grabbed them and went on a reading spree. Years later what I had learned impacted my views of education and led in part to considering homeschooling. But the times I remember the most are going to chapel together. Tommy would give me a running commentary on the speaker’s topic, which honestly, was usually more interesting than the speaker. He also gave me the imaginary commentary of his best friend, who also happened to be named Doug. His Doug sounded like someone who was going to conquer the world with his wicked sense of humor. He didn’t sound quite as benevolent as my Doug, but I was still intrigued. This guy sounded like a piece of work, and there was a moment or two when I wondered if the name Doug was a charm.

Springtime came and Tommy’s girlfriend, Joy, who went to school in another state, came to visit during her break. I was in the library one afternoon and noticed them talking. Tommy saw me and waved me over to meet her. As I approached, I focused on Joy and said hello as Tommy introduced us. Then I looked to my right and there stood my Doug, who it turns out was Tommy’s Doug too. I felt so stupid that I didn’t put this together sooner, but I had never mentioned Doug to Tommy, and Doug had never mentioned me to Tommy nor mentioned Tommy to me, so there was no way to put it together. Phew! But Tommy put some things together. More on that in the next post.

note: Tommy now goes by Tom, but he will always be Tommy to me.

If you are joining the story in progress, a link to the next entry can be found at the end of each story piece. Or you can access all of the pieces on “The Story” page, which is also a tab at the top of the blog.

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Doug needs a kidney transplant. He was recently added to the deceased donor list and has a wait of up to five years. But he has been advised a living donor kidney is best. So I come with this blog to make others aware and to encourage him. For more info, please see the “Kidney Donation” page.

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