Guardian, Part 2

Guardian, Part 2

It’s been difficult to sit down and write the continuation of my last blog post because I’ve known what it has to be about. I cannot compose another blog post until I write about this. I have told some of these stories on Facebook, on Twitter, but not here. For some reason, writing it here, admitting here that it happened, makes it even more real than I want it to be. It wasn’t what I planned Part 2 to be, but this is how it turned out.

On September 20, two days after posting Guardian, one of my best friends collapsed during a CrossFit session and died of cardiac arrest. He was three days older than me and seemingly in the best shape of his life.

His name was Rob, and he was one of my teammates during my Indiana FFA State Officer year. Each of us played a role on the team, both in an official capacity and as a team member. Officially, he was stationed by the flag as the reporter, writing stories and taking pictures that would inform others about the FFA. As a team member, he was our encourager, whether he was sitting up late to help us with speeches or giving us directions over the phone when we became lost on a back road. He dreamed up crazy ideas and persuaded us to follow him in implementing them. Rob encouraged us to be ourselves and saw potential in everyone he met.

The last picture Rob and I took together, on the stage at Purdue University’s Elliott Hall of Music after the final gavel tap at the 2016 Indiana FFA State Convention. I had just finished up my year of teaching agriculture and was six days away from leaving for New Zealand. Funny how you never know when a picture is going to be the last one.

And, in some ways, he was a guardian.

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