Last night as I packed to leave for this trip I saw a spot about Laird's passing on the television news. They showed video (click on Sports with Kevin video thumbnail for Jan. 22. Video of Laird starts at 3:07) of him winning state titles in track and cross country. What I saw was exactly what I've repeated in my mind over and over the last few days. Light and fast, smooth and powerful seemingly running on a layer of air just above the ground the others behind were touching.
As hard as its been talking and giving info to others about Laird it has been encouraging that he is so well remembered and liked by so many. That he touched so many in a positive way is hugely rewarding for me to know. I know what a positive effect he had on me and I'm glad that others were also able share that as well.
As I look at my blog report I can see where people access my blog and where they come from. Many have been looking for information about Laird and found their way here. And the places those people are come from all over the US and several countries. The traffic to my blog has been ten times usual as those people stop and read about Laird. Again, I hope I do justice to those memories and I can't possibly describe how much I appreciate all the different comments I continue to receive from all.
I had a chance to talk this morning with my friend Harry Johnson. Harry and I coached cross country together, but at different schools in Anchorage. Despite having "competing" teams Harry and I were of like mind about many things and we have also covered many miles together. Harry understands better than anyone how different my relationship with Laird was than the usual coach/athlete relationship. In fact, the kayaking photo on the last post was while we were staying at Harry's place in Cabo. It was hugely comforting to talk with Harry and have him know how I feel. Thanks Harry.
I was able to talk with Laird's wife, Karen, for the first time last night. Despite what a great guy Laird was, he was completely lucky to end up with someone as sweet as Karen. You are simply not going to find anyone sweeter and kinder (or cuter) than her. As she didn't meet Laird until after college I don't think she understood how many people knew and thought so highly of Laird. Despite her grief, I hope she is able to come away from the memorial with a better understanding of how many people knew the person she loved in the same way she did. I also know she and Laird's family will need the prayers of all of you as they try to cope with this.
Laird's memorial is scheduled for Tuesday at the Tanglewood Golf Clubhouse in the evening (sorry I don't know exact time yet).