I got home from the basketball games way too late to be able to concentrate on writing about them. I was so tired plus I needed a little time for everything to settle into my brain and comprehend the magnitude of what happened. I still don’t have my arms and mind wrapped around it but boy am I grateful it came together so beautifully! There are so many people to thank for making it happen… I don’t know where to start – so once again I send every one of you a great big THANK YOU!
The varsity girls and boys basketball games were just so fabulous! I can’t believe they were, in part, for my boy! I kept looking over at the student section throughout the evening – right to the middle of the bleachers and the sea of green and blue shirts, just knowing Chris would have been right there cheering.
Then I thought, he WAS there cheering! He has friends at Shaker as well as knowing just about everyone (of course) at SHEN. Like me, he’d have been clapping for both teams as they scored – probably getting elbowed by his buddies for being neutral. I had difficulty in figuring out the reason we were all there.
Chris would have been screaming for his cousin Zak, on the Shaker boys varsity team, as well as for another player, David whom Chris lined up against directly every time Shaker and SHEN played football.
Dave plays multiple sports, very talented! Chris and David have blocked each other for three varsity seasons. Both he and Chris made the football All Star team this year. I’m sure Dave couldn’t hear me cheering, but I was. I pointed him out several times to family around me, “Look! 42 played against Chris!” There is something so dear to my heart in knowing he and Chris physically collided hundreds of times yet each extended a hand to pick the other one up off the ground. How can football be a gentleman-like game? It was for them. But they meant business on the field. The niceties came after. I got to meet Dave’s mom after the game too which was wonderful. I’ve also met Dave before at Zak’s house during family gatherings.
My nephew Zak presented me with the big $11,000 cardboard check between games. Did you know that? I wasn’t aware until I saw him coming towards me. I really didn’t know what to expect of the halftime events although the Athletic Director did tell me ahead of time. Having my nephew hand me a huge scholarship check on his cousins behalf and hugging me to pieces in front of everyone couldn’t have been nicer. That was something! It took me a second to realize it was him. Zak and Chris were very close, especially as kids.
They’re only two months apart and had many play dates as little guys. Zak said he liked everything they did together with the exception of “Kill the Carrier” (yard football). When Chris caught Zak it wasn’t pretty, I’m sure being tackled by a physically larger cousin was no fun! Maybe that’s why Zak runs like the wind and moves like lightening??? I don’t blame you there Zak… Chris put all his efforts in when he was focused – no mercy on the field!
I’m inspired and in awe of the money raised for the scholarships but I don’t think I can grasp it. I know I don’t at the moment. It’s for my son??? No way, can’t be… Imagine how you’d feel??? It’s only been about forty days. I can’t get used to my new role in the community and how it relates to my life. I can’t believe Chris is gone. It blindsides me like a two by four. One minute I’m doing fine, I feel as though I understand what’s happening and the next I just can’t comprehend it. My mind and heart won’t let it be so. But all of these fundraisers and community events where we come together and rally around one another is so helpful and meaningful. You keep me on my feet all the while you’re telling me I inspire you? I’m so thankful! Of course I don’t want things to be this way but all of you help me so much. Chris belongs to all of us. I feel he’s a phantom spokesperson to bring people together. He’s the culmination of all that is right.
I was mentioning to my friend Shannon last night that I have been wondering if Chris is being molded into something bigger than he is. I don’t want him to morph into anything more than “Chris”. He was a genuinely nice kid. He portrayed good qualities and leadership skills.
He was goofy and funny. I can’t think if one person who cringed or tried to hide if he was in sight, he was welcomed everywhere. If losing him makes us stop and be better people then I love that! I just don’t want us remembering him as if he had no flaws. God has no flaws, the rest of us carry some.
I try to lean on Chris when I miss him. When I wonder why this happened. I talk to him and ask him to watch Food Network with me, to travel in the car with me, have a seat at the table when I’m eating and be near me just because I want him close. Maybe you do that too – whether with Chris or someone you lost. It’s very comforting.
In any event, please remember that Chris was a regular guy. A special one I admit, even an earth angel maybe – but he was as regular as you and me and that’s how I’d like him to remain.
Thank you for reading.