Amy and I spent an enjoyable Friday evening at Over the Moon, noshing on deli sandwiches, quiche and egg rolls while listening to Bernie Coveney and Chris Luster’s music and visiting with friends.

For me, even surrounded with the hubbub, the evening was quiet and retrospective. I’m still reeling from the failure of the Campaign for Our America, a project that consumed so much of my time and effort for the past six months. An ego the size of mine falls hard and I’m badly bruised from this tumble.

But bruises heal and lessons learned make, I hope, one a better person. That healing process is so much easier with the kind support of friends, some of who were ignored or short-sheeted when I became so pre-occupied with CFOA to the expense of everything else. Some could have taken revenge or offered recrimination. They didn’t. That’s the value of friendship.

Those who have helped me through this difficult period with encouragement, words of wisdom and a shoulder to cry on include Fred First, Rob Neukirch, Bernie Coveney, Chris Luster and Sally Walker. At the Jacksonville Center, Wayne Bradburn and Wil Stratton provided kindness and support. My email box overflowed with soothing words and the vast majority of those who posted comments to my column on Capitol Hill Blue and our bulletin board helped ease the pain. They are too numerous to mention here by name but their support means so much.

And Amy, dear Amy, my long-suffering but always supportive wife, who has stuck with me more times than she should, huddled with me in that lifeboat as we rode out storm after storm. She, more than anyone, feels the brunt of anger and preoccupied deference that comes from living with an obsessive personality. She knows that what I may say or do when I strike out at others because I have let something consume my life is not indicative of who I am or how I feel towards others. And she is the first one to point those facts out to me and turn them into an object lesson on life to put my feet back firmly on the ground.

My sincerest, heartfelt thanks to each of you during this trying, exhausting, heartbreaking week. You helped me get through it and reconfirmed the bond of true friendship and love.