Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Thou Art The Man...The World Will Never be the Same!

Craig Decker
November 22, 1982-July 5, 2008
Today they found the body of my EFY friend Craig Decker in Utah lake after a massive 4day search for him. Late on Saturday eve waves overtook him while he was trying to retrieve an ore.

All I can say is we lost one of the kindest, meekest, funniest Men I have ever known that Saturday night!

I worked several years at EFY with Craig. His smile made life seem ok even through the stress of EFY. I moved out of Utah for a year and came back. Craig's firework accident happened while I was away. Upon returning I came to EFY to check in with all my old friends. As soon as I entered the cubical there Craig sat with his bandaged arm and came over to me to give me a hug. I was seriously in shock to see this wounded smiley boy looking at me! I said, "CRAIG! what did you do to yourself?!" Smiling from ear to ear he made up this tall tale of how he received his injury. Honestly I was in so much shock that I couldn't tell you the long story he told. At the end of his story I got really emotional for him and he giggled and told me that he was "pulling my arm" and gave me the real story. I hugged him again, not knowing how to respond because usually someone with a story like that would be seeking compassion but there Decker's' was just smiling at me! I said, "Craiggers, what can I do for you?!" Smiling again he looked at me and said, "If I ever need a HAND I'll defiantly let you know!, or if you need a HAND you tell me!" I couldn't help to trade my shock for a loud Meg laughter and a slug on the good arm! I told him, "Craig of course you would have this attitude! I wouldn't expect anything less of you!" Everyone that has ever met or even heard of Craig knows this to be true. His pure innocent attitude and smile had the power to penetrate even the worst of days. Last night I was chatting with a EFY buddy and we were discussing our heartbreak over the loss of this good man. We were in awe that in such shallow waters our friend was not being found. I said to Buck, maybe he was translated like Enoch...he is good enough to be! And I believe he could have been if that were the Lord's will! That is just the kind of person he is... "He lived great and died great!"

This picture completely captures Craigs witty sense of humor!

I want to just show you a glimpse of who he is by a blog entry he wrote back in February 07. (A little side note on Craigs history. Craig spent A new years a couple years ago in Mexico. While there he did fireworks at midnight on new years eve and a faulty one blew off his right hand. Here is some lessons he learned..)

7 lessons from a firework (written 2-07)
I haven’t always been left handed. In fact, I still get weirded out when I look down at the stub where my right hand used to be! Christmas vacation this year took me on a road trip to Mexico.

Question: Where can you buy better quality fireworks than in Mexico? (Answer: anywhere.) On New Year’s Eve I lit a harmless looking firework at midnight, and a moment later I looked down and realized that my hand took the early bus back to heaven!All joking aside, I have learned some powerful lessons through that experience. (Surprisingly, most of them have very little to do with firework safety!)

Although what occurred was tragic, I believe what I have learned has made me a better person and will continue to bless the lives of many individuals.

1. Don’t buy fireworks in Mexico!

2. There are some things in life that we simply cannot control. (If I hadn’t blown off my hand, some other poor person would have.) It’s okay. As we let go of those things quickly and completely, we become free.

3. “Men are that they might have joy”! Life is good. Laughter heals. Life is funny. There are funny things that happen every day even in the worst of situations. Bad days make good stories. There is a time to laugh and a time to cry. It’s funny that laughter and tears come together so easily.

4. The atonement of Christ brings peace and healing “that surpass all understanding”. We come to know ourselves and we come to know God through our trials. We are surrounded by miracles. When we trade self pity for humility, our eyes are opened to see them.

5. There is so much life to live! Why waste time worrying and stressing about inconsequential things? Spend time doing what matters most—the things that bring the most light and joy to life. Enjoy the ride.

6. Challenges make us stronger and better. With creativity and patience, we are capable of much more than we ever imagined. Our perspective determines our reality. (There is nothing that quite compares with the feeling of accomplishment gained from flossing with one hand for the first time!)

7. We can always lift others, no matter how bad of a situation we are in. It is a divine gift. The only true and lasting joy comes from forgetting ourselves and lifting those around us through love and service.I would never wish another person to lose their hand. But I hope my experiences and lessons make a difference in your life. Wahoo for the resurrection!!

If I got a choice what was written on his grave in big letters I would put... "WAHOO FOR THE RESURRECTION!" Because I can just hear him saying that and living that!

This picture above is that million dollar smile I talk about.. I've never NOT seen him like this!

Although this blog entry doesn't come close to expressing the type of kindness and meekness that pertruded from Craig, I hope you can get a glimpse of the person he was and the love people had for him. I will never forget that smile that million dollar attitude changing smile.

Craig, thanks being virtuous, lovely, of good report and praiseworthy! God be with you till we Meet again!


Brandon and Erica said...

MEGS!So glad you found me :-).
This tribute was beautiful. You have a way with words.

And, you are right. Craig rocks.