Letter: One to remember
I grew up next door to Will Graham. Will always had something nice to say, and if he didn’t, he wouldn’t say anything at all. You always knew where Will stood, and usually you knew why.
Will would tell me to keep my head up and that all the kids who made fun of me for being fat only did it because they were envious. He always offered to kick their butts if I needed him to. He was a big brother to me. He was family. He will always be with me.
Will wasn’t perfect — oh wait: No one is! Yet to hear so many negative things dug out from his past has only made all of the good things he has done for me ever more present. The walks home from the bus stop, the compliments when I grew up into a woman, the love he always held for me, the help he offered my mom after my dad’s accident. Will always cared, and he always focused on the good in people. Will had struggles, as so many people here in the Roaring Fork Valley have struggles, struggles with life’s challenges and struggles with alcohol. Not everyone is strong enough to overcome them — some people need time and support more than others. Will was one of those countless people, yet just his hardships don’t mean we should give up on what he has brought to this valley and what he did when he was in the 82nd Airborne Division.
When I began writing this letter, all I wanted was to chide Rick Carroll for the pain he has caused so many. Instead I want to be like Will and rise above his accusations. Rick, I hope you learn from your mistakes, and I hope if you ever lose a child that their past, their mistakes, won’t be what the next writer focuses on. I forgive you, for Will!
I will remember Will as the older brother willing to stick up for me. I will remember Will as the man who always smiled. I will remember Will as someone I admired. I will remember Will every day. I hope that is the Will everyone can remember.
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