Sometimes you meet people you don't remember, and sometimes you don't remember people. Chad was a guy I met a couple times, but I remembered him. I didn't know him though, and details I quote here may be slightly off, but I'm trying to remember.
But I do remember him, somehow.
Here's what I recall. I was DJing at Outlaws in Calgary, and a guy named Chad came to work as a busboy. I didn't think anything of it, until he quit. I mean, he was a nice guy, but I've met a lot of bar staff that worked for 2 weeks then quit. It was about 2 weeks before he quit. As far as I knew he was friends with Candace, a friendly regular who I still get to see once in while.
Why do I remember this guy?
Chad quit because he signed up for the military. I remember, I thought he was crazy... but he was so excited. SO EXCITED. And, he was gone from the club. Then, some time later I recall him coming back with some army buddies to fire it up and celebrate completing their training. His hair was gone... but he was so happy. Then he was gone again. But for some reason, I remembered Chad even though I didn't know him. Each time there was a report of someone getting hurt in Afghanistan, I would wonder if it was "that crazy busboy... wonder what he's up to? Did he ever go there?", and then life went on.
Maybe I remember his enthusiasm?
Well, it happened last week... with 2 Calgary Soldiers killed in Afghanistan. Candace sent me a message and told me it was Chad. I even had to ask her, "was it that crazy busboy guy?"
Strange, but I remembered him.
YES. The answer was yes, Chad was killed.
My heart sank. For some strange reason, our random meeting stuck with me. Chad, I honestly didn't know your last name, but I remembered you. And I certainly will now. Thank you Chad for what you've done. That busboy is a bigger man that I will ever be. Thank you Chad for making me remember you. And for Chad's colleagues still fighting the fight, thank you.
I hope in your life, you can meet some random person that you don't even know, but sticks with you. I'm going to stop asking WHY now, and just accept it.
Maybe I remember him for the story. The story that I may tell my kids one day, about "CHAD the busboy" who eagerly chased bad guys half a world away so they could have their freedom. Maybe that has to be the only reason why.
I doesn't matter if I've remembered the details of our paths crossing. That's what I've learned. It's remembering why Chad has stuck with me. His enthusiam for being selfless.
"If you love your freedom, thank a soldier"
This presentation was put together by Candace for the funeral this week. I recommend you watch it, and realize how real life this is. And, I watched it too and remembered more of Chad.