Seven Months of Missing

Seven Months of Missing

This is what it looks like when two young men miss their best friend.

They missed him when they drove up to the corner and parked. They missed him while walking up to the bike. They missed him while sweeping, while tidying up flowers, while rearranging solar lights that keep the love glowing even into the night.

My heart hurts for Chandler’s friends. And there were many.

Chandler valued friendship above all else. He was loyal. If you were his friend, he absolutely had your back. He was your cheerleader, your advocate, your defender…sometimes on a level that may have included a punch or two. He came by that honestly….thank you, Grandpa Bill.

Almost every day, I would hear Chandler say, “I’m going to meet my buddy ____” I thought surely he was making some of this up. How could he have that many friends that he cared so deeply about. But he did. If he called you his friend, he meant it. He didn’t gossip about you. He didn’t play you. He didn’t use you. He was in your corner.

I’m not saying Chandler was perfect. Who is? But he held a core value that guided his life — if you say that someone is your friend, act like it.

Seven months ago, I knew some…not all…of this. I didn’t know the depth and breadth of Chandler’s impact on so many lives. Now, I am inspired by Chandler to love people well, to BE WITH them when I’m with them, to listen deeply, to have their backs.

God, please comfort the hearts of Chandler’s friends. How difficult to lose a peer, a friend, with whom you have laughed and played and worked and who is part of the everyday fabric of your life. Give them strength to begin each new day with the intention of honoring Chandler through their actions — love people well, be in the moment, do the next right thing. Amen.

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