Omer flower (friend (fr nd). n. 1. A person whom one knows, likes, and trusts you. 2. A person with whom one is allied in a struggle …(3) “a person who’ll do things for you when it’s of inconvenience to them” (Rod Davis).

I have developed a term that signifies my conceptualization of friendship: Uncomfortable Sacrifice. This is just one tenet of friendship, however, I have found it to be the soundest tool to measure how it works. As such, camaraderie is risking your personal comfort zone for another. I’m not talking about fake charity. Keep the transparent, “I know you could do it” or the proverbial ‘tough love’ b.s. to yourself. These and other statements need works to mean anything of value at least in friendship.  With that said, I have a short list of friends.

Omer Avci is a friend. I met him a few years ago when I joined the College Learning Enhancement Program (CLEP) as a reading instructor at Northern Illinois University (NIU). I sat in on his classes as I was trying to see how not to screw up my students. I modeled my early teaching after him and Dr. Armstrong. Unfortunately and fortunately, this past spring he completed his doctorate degree and is heading back with his family to his home country (Turkey) after eight years in the U.S. By the way, without Omer’s support and others my comp exam could have been harder.

Omer always had time, always. He never passed me on to someone else, not once. This cat defended his dissertation while helping me with my comp exam. My friend Rod Davis is like that and so am I. If you’re our friend, we will not let you down, not once. We’ll give to you and forgo our own agency under many circumstances. Omer did the same with no excuses, no b.s. he just said…What do you need?”

I will miss him dearly…

My friend, Dr. Omer Avci

The Invisible Dragon