True friends just might surprise you. Or themselves.

It has been rare in my life that I've really admired anyone I knew. Of the people I've loved, only Edward falls into that category. A couple of people who've dedicated their lives to the struggle for liberty for all do also. And over the past two days, I've been astounded that the CEO of the company I work for has joined this esteemed group.

Yesterday, a coworker came into my office and asked if my digital camera would be available over the next couple of days. I said yes, and asked what she would be needing it for. She said that she wanted to take a picture of Tony on Friday, and then again on Monday. Naturally, I asked her what would be happening over the weekend, and she said that Tony had said that he would be shaving his head then. The obvious "Why?" was proffered; she said that he had a friend with cancer who has recently started on a chemotherapy regimen, and who has lost (or will shortly lose) his hair. A group of his friends have decided that they will shave their heads in a gesture of support for him.

I was blown away. It is practically idiomatic that much of a man's vanity is wrapped up in his hair — and Tony's Italian for Pete's sake. Unsurprisingly, I immediately found myself wondering for whom I might do such a thing, coming up with only Edward, but even at that, I'm sure that it never would have even occurred to me to do such a thing.

Today I told Tony how very impressed I was that he's doing this for his friend. This evening, I went out for some drinks with a small group of people from work, and Tony was there also. After most people had drifted off, it was only me, Tony, and one other guy, who happens to be bald himself, left. Tony turned the conversation to what he might expect (being understandably apprehensive about the prospect). After some discussion of the practicalities, Greg also mentioned what a great thing he thought Tony was doing. Tony demurred, mentioning that, of course, what his friend was going through was much worse (which I said does not devalue his action), and certainly in a relative sense, what he was doing was little in the grand scheme of things. Though he admitted to a question in his own mind as to whether, once doing this, he might think that he's not doing enough. (Which, I believe, has the same roots as the quandary of the soldier in the foxhole who feels guilty that it was his buddy who got hit rather than him.) And also, a natural wondering as to whether, if it's ever him in that situation, he would have such friends who would do such a thing for him. He fears that he would not, but I still have enough faith to believe that he would probably be greatly surprised, on the upside.

I asked a few questions of Tony, one of which came up after he mentioned that he was going to a Father/Daughter dance tomorrow evening, and that he might be bare-pated by that point. I asked if that might cause his daughter some problems among her peers (not that I didn't believe that he hadn't thought of that), and he answered that, among recent events that had made him very appreciative of his family, was that his daughter was perfectly accepting of the plan.

It was too late by that time, but here I am home, lifting a glass of my favorite port, and saying

Here's to you, Tony. I admire you.