Earlier tonight I drove back from Jacksonville, where I was visiting a friend nearing the end of a battle with a brain tumor. (Sorry, I lied when I promised a light post this time.)
I’ll try not to dwell on it here, except for three thoughts.
1. There was so much love in that building, a kind of silent strength that somehow managed to be beautiful and tragic at once. (Except for the little kids ganging up on me in Sorry while we waited…that was mostly tragic.)
2. Steve, you are a saint. If I ever get married, I hope I possess even half the love and care that you are showing right now.
3. Most of you don’t know the friends I’m talking about. As an introduction, watch the soloist on the right in this video…and try not to cry.
I got back just in time to watch this guy walk across the Grand Canyon (after the longest buildup in the history of anything ever). He’s from Sarasota, so we’ve been talking about this quite a bit the last couple months, and I’ve heard a number of people tsk, tsk about it…about the seemingly senseless risk and the potential loss for his family.
But if you hear him talk about his family’s legacy, his personal passion, his hope of inspiring people, his drive to make the next thing bigger and bigger and bigger…I don’t know. Not saying it makes sense, but I think it’s pretty wonderful. And I loved how everyone was rallying around him together, collectively holding our breaths from across the country. I was thinking about Steve and Lindsay, about life and loss and hope and sacrifice, then suddenly Nik was on the wire and my heart was in my throat, and even with the charismatic church flashbacks in his commentary I was completely riveted, and by the time he jogged to safety on the other side I realized my clenched fists had cut off the circulation in my fingertips.
Sometimes I think about our tendency to impose a narrative where there isn’t one, to see parallels where maybe the only real connection is chronological order. So I’m not going to do that with this weekend. All I’m going to do is marvel at how, honestly, I’m amazed by humans. By our range of emotions, our capacity to love and support each other, the death-defying feats we accomplish just because we can…all of it, I guess. It’s a pretty wonderful thing.
To Steve and Lindsay, you both are amazing, and I love you. And to Nik, thank you.