Rob and I spent this weekend in DC attending a memorial service for our friend CAM. It is hard to explain the weekend and I know that my thoughts will not do it justice. The first words that come to mind are sadness yet joy, tears yet laughter, confusion yet comfort.
Both CAM and his wife Becky graduated from college with Rob and me so I knew that we were going to reconnect with many people. What I hadn’t realized was quite how far CAM’s reach had been. We joined 1,000 people in the church and hundreds more who watched the service streaming live on the internet to celebrate the life of this amazing man. We joined CAM’s family, his work colleagues and friends from so many corners of his life. We joined with friends we see often, some we have not seen in months, others in years and still others since graduation. Tonight, we realized that every single one of Rob’s groomsmen were there.
Speakers talked of CAM’s love, his generosity, his humor, his golf game, his drum playing and his incredible faith. But the theme that we heard over and over again and was so evident in the room was CAM’s ability to connect people and to build relationships. One speaker joked that he always thought that he was CAM’s best friend but as he looked around the room, he imagined that many people in the room thought the same thing. That was CAM. That amazing ability to make everyone he touched feel that special and that loved.
CAM was our age and his children are the age of our children. It was inevitable that attending this service would make me think. While we all spent much time laughing and crying as we heard stories and watched an amazing video montage of our friend, how could we not think about ourselves? How could we not want to be more like CAM?
After the service, we all gathered for dinner and the remembrances continued. We all promised to do better about staying in touch. We promised that we would no longer only gather at weddings and most unfortunately, funerals. We all said that CAM would want us to do just that.
My hope is that after this weekend, we all hold up our promises. I hope that my relationships with the friends we saw this weekend will continue to grow. Because CAM would want us to do that. I hope that I do a better, more CAM-like job of developing friendships in my daily life. I hope that I remember that it takes work to develop these relationships and that the work is worth doing.
Rest in peace CAM and thank you for all you taught me this weekend.