There are people who come into your life that alter it forever. Craig is one of those people, and I found him early in life. It was a quick and extraordinary friendship. We met in middle school and quickly formed a connection that was probably beyond either of our understanding at that age. We were just meant to shape each other's lives. I'd like to be able to tell you dozens of stories about decades of shared vacations and camping trips with the kids. But, like many friendships whose paths get altered by geography and too-busy schedules, ours is more a song composed of decracendos interrupted by some poignant and well-timed staccatos. I could tell you dozens of hilarious tales of pre-teen idiocy, teen angst, college debauchary, and phone calls always arriving at the precise moment you needed to hear that voice. I'd happily share.
There are moments in life that take your breathe away. One of those moments came recently when Craig's best friend called to tell me Craig had late-stage cancer. Trust me when I say this - cancer met it's match when it decided to tangle with this family. Craig and his wife have a depth of love, a strength of faith, and a quality of character that literature and cinema could only hope to capture. I simply stare at them in awe. (If you doubt me, just read Ashley's daily Facebook posts to the Craig's Cause page.) For the past few weeks I've wondered what we all do in these situations: What could I possibly do to help? Why a young father? Is sending prayers and love enough?
What does this have to do with this website?
Having spent most of the last few days staring at this computer screen, I took a long walk with my dog around the neighborhood yesterday. I'd already selected the feather imagery for this website, new business cards, etc. I had even written a bunch of cheesy "come take flight with me text" that I couldn't stand to read, but just couldn't delete. I'm not really into birds, and I kept wondering why I was clinging to feathers for my new personal branding. About ten minutes into my walk, two things hit me.
- Craig has called me "Feather" for twenty-four years. He was the first, and is one of few. I'm just not a nickname kind of gal. But those who do use it are among my dearest.
- Craig would read me passages from Lonesome Dove by Larry McMurty over the phone for hours when I was upset, lonely, or just plain bored. He also tricked me into thinking he had written the words himself. (Like I said, pre-teen idiocy.)
Without knowing it, Craig has shaped part of my life yet again. He's the kind of man that men should be. Keep up the good fight, my friend. There are many more years of unsung tunes ahead.