Friday, February 10, 2017

God Be With You Til We Meet Again

Erik Gray and I met at a picnic with our major on September 8, 2015. I saw this guy standing awkwardly as if he knew nobody around, and I felt I should go talk with him, but I felt weird doing so, so I decided to go about my duties of making sure the picnic was all set up. While I busied myself doing other things--important, necessary things, I might add--I was given the feeling again that I needed to go talk with him. I walked up to him right as another guy was talking with him about missions, so I mentioned I went to the Washington Everett Mission. He asked, "Did you ever meet Jeff Shearer?" Jeff was my last mission companion, so naturally, we got really excited, sent him a selfie, and began chatting.

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Though I was on the audiology side of things and he was on the speech side of things, we would tease each other and had much fun together.

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He and I (along with several other friends) went to see the lights at Temple Square.

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We saw The Force Awakens together on opening night.

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We attended Aggie Basketball games together.

He took my senior photos around campus.

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We had the opportunity to go to the April 2016 Priesthood Session of General Conference.

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We attended the Temple together frequently. He claimed that I loved the Temple the second most of anyone in the world, because nobody could love the Temple as much as he could.

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We had a blast doing random, fun things like swimming after we were already too tired to stay up.

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We went on random adventures together.

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We supported each other in our faith and in everything that we did.

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We ate at Pizza Pie Cafe, probably more often than we should have, but it was our thing to do (besides going to the Temple). And I introduced him to pepperoni-bacon Alfredo Pizza.

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For Christmas, I visited him, and it was a complete surprise to him, but it was so great being able to go see him.

On February 9, 2017, he and I had 159 days of daily contact via Snapchat, and even more via other means.

On February 10, 2017, he passed away at 6:45 AM surrounded by family. His life's motto was #YOLO, and never let anything get in the way of having an adventure. He was my best friend, and no person could ever replace him. His favorite scripture is what I'm sure he'd want all of us to know now, "But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint."

Erik, I love you like a brother. And you were not just "like a brother"; you were, are, and always will be a brother. I love you man! God be with you til we meet again!