This week, Stealth's nephew died in a car accident in Saudi Arabia. He was young - in his 30's - and beloved by everyone who knew him (and many who, like me, did not know him, but that he had helped in some way). Stealth spoke of him fondly and often.
So it was awful and tragic and unexpected when he heard the news. I am sure that it is life-altering for him. I was so proud of our friends who stood up for him and supported him through this terrible time. I'm proud to be associated with our group: In seeing how they react when one of us needs them shows me how they will react when/if I ever need them.
These are tests of character that stay with you. I will NEVER FORGET how Bobarino stood by my side (literally) at my father's funeral. He drove 6 hours to get there to give me his support because he said, "That's what friends do." Yes, that's what real friends do. This past week, my friends stood next to Stealth at his nephew's funeral; Not one day, but every day (Islamic funerals/mourning goes on for 3 days) - and every night when he needed them.
In the past few years, our little group of friends has gone through some interesting/challenging times; mostly growing pains trying to figure out what each person's true character is. I KNOW at this point. Other people we know have fallen by the wayside for various (and sometimes silly) reasons. You know your friends not through dinner invitations and superficial occurrances, but when you need them the most.
This has solidified my friendship with Stealth. I knew him before; I know him much better now and I hope he knows me a little better. I am honored that he felt close enough to talk to me and let his walls down. We truly have a special bond that has been built on both good times and adversity. I have learned that I can count on him anytime for almost anything and although we had a somewhat rocky start, I couldn't ask for a better friend.
Thanks Special K and DirectorMan for coming to the aid of our brother. Thanks also to Special K's dad who could just as easily be one of our group. You are truly stand-up guys and I love you.
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Approximately 500 people attended Maj. Abdulrahman Al-Fodary's funeral at one location. The receiving line to pay condolences to the family was 2 hours long. Cars were parked around for miles. Stealth said the most comforting thing was hearing people - many just strangers - tell stories about his nephew; how he had helped them or things that he had done or said. He said it was like getting to know parts of him that he never knew before.
He sounds like someone I would have really liked, although I never had the opportunity to meet him. I pray for him and hope that he rests in peace; and that his family is comforted in knowing what a wonderful person he was and how many people he touched.