In life we all meet lots of people. You sit in the airport and talk to strangers. You go to college mixers. You meet life long friends in elementary school. The variations of how long you know people and how people impact you are uncountable.
Recently, I was watching a favorite television show and the series ended with the funeral of a man who was loved by many (including me, even if he was just a character). In this episode his loved ones talked about his influences on their lives: how he brought people together; how he brightened rooms and shared brilliance with strangers; how he believed in the crazy in others and shared it himself.
It seems strange now, but that night I thought about writing a blog post about the people who walk in and out of your life and may not even know they impacted you, but did. It felt morbid and a little strange to write about the deep loss I was feeling from the loss of a TV character. But, because of this weeks’ event, it feels right to do this now. To remind myself and share with you how important it is for us to cherish our time on earth and love others deeply.
7 years ago a very wonderful person strolled into my life in a Freahman elective called Rock to Bach. In class, I quickly learned that his knowledge of ACDC, Led Zeppelin and Grateful Dead would not only make for a good study partner for the pop music/texas country lover I am, but for a very fun, funky friend.
A boy who I am pretty sure I didn’t know his first name until sophomore year, ended up being best friends with my besties boyfriend and then started dating one of my other close friends. Which of course, lead to lots of late nights, trips together, long talks, shared dance parties, next-day recovery time and more hilarious impressions of other people’s voices than I thought one person had in them.
We weren’t best friends by any means, but he always made me feel so important to him when we were together and I would say anyone who knew him would say the same.
Of all the things I know about him I know he LOVED people so well. He impacted me in that way most.
He loved everyone with a smile and a hug, no matter how long he knew you. He loved my best friend in the way that he never turned his back on her and helped keep her above water, while she was trying to save others from drowning. He dove head first into my group of friends from high school, which is so tight that no one else has seemed to be able to get into the way he did, while creating friendships that will forever be cherished. He loved his hometown friends and family and shared stories about them that made you feel like you knew them too.
He, like my favorite TV character, believed in the crazy in others and shared it himself. He loved deeply and was deeply loved…that and some very solid dance moves are a true legacy.
I am sure he is watching over all of us now thinking, stop crying and get to grooving, because you never know when your time will come. Thank you for teaching us to love others so well, be a light in this crazy-beautiful mess we call life, and reminding us to hold on to the ones we love.
God gained one funky, beautiful angel. See you in heaven, Elrod.
“And if you listen very hard
The tune will come to you at last.
When all are one and one is all
To be a rock and not to roll.”
-Stairway to Heaven, Led Zeppelin