These past weeks I’ve been extra sad. One of my friends from college passed away recently. We had lost touch since we both graduated, but his name always made me smile and made me remember the experiences we had working together. He was great at making people laugh and being a friend. Here are some of my memories of Chris.
When I first started working with him (we worked in the computer lab/tutoring center together) I was in charge of putting together the schedule for the students. I got Chris’ availability sheet from him and filled out the schedule according to the needs of the computer lab. Chris didn’t like his schedule so he went to our boss’s boss and got it changed to what he wanted.
Even though we got off on the wrong foot after the scheduling conflict it was impossible to stay annoyed with Chris for long. He would tease and crack jokes until even the people who never smiled were laughing heartily.
On Valentine’s Day that year I was feeling a bit blue. It seemed everyone around had significant others to celebrate with. In trying to focus on others instead of myself I brought heart shaped cookies into to share with my co-workers. Chris went crazy over them. He couldn’t stop complimenting them and he made my day brighter. When they were gone he suggested that I should make St. Patrick’s Day cookies for the next holiday!
Chris took St. Patrick’s Day pretty seriously. I made sure that I wore the required green in the form of scarf. Sure enough, Chris went around trying to pinch everyone who had not donned green. When he got through with those people he came around and tried to steal my scarf so he could pinch me also!
Chris liked to get involved in his workplace and correct things that he saw as problems. He lobbied with our boss to get a raise for some of the students who had more responsibility. When our boss wouldn’t deal with something that Chris saw as a problem he would fill out a complaining comment card. Boy did he get in trouble, but he soon charmed his way out again.
Chris was smart, had a lot of confidence, and he loved helping people. This made him an excellent tutor. I also knew I could ask him whatever outrageous question that came into my head and he would either know the answer, make a satisfying answer up, or be able to find the answer. I wasn’t one to regularly ask for help with my school work, but I requested Chris’s help with a couple of school projects and I was glad I did. He helped with a group accounting project where the whole group was confused. We got an excellent grade. He also helped me with a web page project that I was making too complicated. I ended up getting 100 percent on the project. I made him some cookies to thank him for his help.
Looking out for others was part of Chris’ personality. There were a few older guys around campus who were known as stalkers. One day one of them came into the computer lab and was talking to me. Chris came over and told him to get lost. When he didn’t leave right away Chris came over and spoke to him again. I never saw or heard from that stalker again.
Chris was a good friend. He had that unique quality of irritating you, but making you smile and laugh at the same time. It was fun watching him win people over with his charms. He will be sorely missed. Some quotes from Charlotte’s Web by E. B. White accurately sum up the way I felt about Chris’ friendship. “You have been my friend,” replied Charlotte, “That in itself is a tremendous thing.” “Wilber never forgot Charlotte…. It is not often that someone comes along who is a true friend…”