In memory of Chris Reuther, 1973-2007

It’s tragic and stupid that it takes the loss of my friend Chris for me to blog again.  Chris and I used to trade stories, poems, and he always had the courage to tell me when mine absolutely sucked.  He read my blogs and told me what he thought, told me when I was just half-assing my stories.  And he told me when I was good, too, when I was on my game; he never hesitated to dole out compliments.  I have a poem somewhere that he told me I should try to publish, and in his honor, I’m going to try.

Chris Reuther died in Hawaii, his life taken by a random stranger.  It’s hard, but I’m doing all I can to focus on the wonderful way Chris lived, not the terrible way he died.

Chris and I used to analyze song lyrics.  All the way back to 8th grade, we’d listen to music (tapes, then CDs later on) and talk forever about what was our favorite song, what was our favorite lyric.  We could talk about music for hours on end, until our parents made us hang up or the cordless phone ran out of juice.  I remember we talked a lot about R.E.M.’s “Green” album, and there are lyrics from that album that really resonate with me in this time of loss. 

You are here with me
You are here with me
You have been here and you are everything

Chris was just a really good guy, and I know that I am not alone in wishing for one more phone call, one more email, one more visit.  He had friends everywhere he’d ever been, and I know we all miss him. If I had the chance to talk to Chris one more time, I’d tell him I loved him just so he could hear it…I’m sure he knew that he was a friend so dear to my heart, but I don’t think I ever said it out loud in our 20+ years of friendship.  I can type it here and that’s as close as I can get: Chris, I love you, friend, for always having a smile, for always seeking out the adventure, for being a friend to me and to the world, for capturing the most magical moments with your camera and your words; I and all your other friends around the world will do our best to live up to your expectations of us, we’ll chase our dreams like you chased yours.

I was in Tennessee over the weekend, and I saw a magnet with words that sort of summed everything up for me:

If I could sit across the porch from God, I’d thank Him for lending me you.

Oh geez Chris, I miss your goofy emails already…but I think if you were here now, you’d take a photo to capture the moment, take an image of this, and you’d move on to the next adventure…and so I’m trying to capture the moment, the feeling, and move on to my next adventure with my friend in my heart.

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Birthday Wish: Take Me to the Man Cave

It’s time, one and all, to think about me.  You should already think about me at least once every 45 seconds or so, but now it’s time to really think hard, really focus…

My birthday is next week.  I’ve been told I’m ever so hard to shop for, but I think this year I’ll make it super easy…Here’s what I want:

I’d like a big strong man (he’s got to be strong for this next part) to heave me over his shoulder (I’m a big girl, this better be a big sturdy shoulder) and carry me off to his man cave for, ummm, quality time (he should have his own man cave, not like part of a cave he shares with his mom).  And then we can have cake.  Chocolate cake.  That should pretty much take care of my wish list.

If I have to throw him over my shoulder that really just takes the shine off the whole damn thing.  Now, go forth and gather up the big strong men, put bows on their heads and make sure they smell vaguely presentable.  I’m looking forward to a lineup of men on my birthday, a plethora of men and man caves from which to choose.

Just fyi, I will be pretty peeved if you don’t round up a man or two for me.  If you look everywhere–under the bed, at WalMart, in the back yard, at Auto Zone–and you still can’t locate a man fitting the proper description, I will accept flowers, truffles from the chocolate fetish and money instead…but just imagine what my Christmas list will look like if I don’t get my wish.

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