Dan isn’t a pushover, by any means. When you first meet him, you might think, “He’s so mellow and laid back.” But trust me on this: when he sinks his teeth into something, he’s pretty tenacious. He just doesn’t force his toughness on you. He’s not a guy who feels the need to exert his power over you just because he can. His strength lies in his quietness, his intentional words and actions, and in his ability to control himself. Never in-your-face, never pushy, but strong nonetheless.
He has an inner fortitude that is amazing. His willpower (except when it comes to donuts or ice cream straight from the carton) is phenomenal. For example, he is extremely allergic to poison ivy. To the point that if his clothing even brushes up against it and then he touches that clothing later, the rash will spread over his skin like wildfire. This has actually happened. He has been so infected by poison ivy that he needed steroids to stem the spread of it around his body. But let me tell you this: he hardly scratched at all. One time I remember him lying in bed, trying to fall asleep and gritting his teeth against the urge to scratch. He lay in the same position all night, with his will power intact even as he slept. He didn’t scratch, and the rash subsided that much quicker.
The man is strong: in his work ethic, in his beliefs, in his emotions, in his love. Steadfast and loyal, caring and deep. Able to withstand so many things. And his strength has been a gift to me on hundreds of occasions.