"10 foot tall and bulletproof.",
that's how Craig liked to describe himself.
Whether he was hurt or not
He always said that with a smile,
a proud daring smile.
Like he had a big secret
But he was keeping to himself.
Craig was so unique, in so many ways,
a continual contradiction in personalities
but so consistent and irrepressable in all of them.
The fierce warrior, and the gentle giant.
The laughing fool, and the wise old man.
He could quote scripture when it served a point
or tell a dirty joke if it served another.
The handy fixit guy, or the couch potato
but the one I remember most
was the great big kid
that he always was.
He had a presence, much larger than his 6'4" frame.
A laugh and a smile that could silence a room.
A personality and wit that few could forget.
That I will remember for all my days
He loved life.
He played harder than anyone else I ever knew.
"Come on, You know you want to"
That was his common line.
To push people just a little farther,
do something a little more daring
to make the day, just a little more exciting.
I think people will think of all the things he's going to miss by dying so young.
But, I don't agree.
Craig did everything his way, when he wanted to do it.
He did more in 32 years than most could do in 90.
Don't feel bad for him.
He enjoyed his very extraordinary life.
His lady, His family and his friends
Feel bad for us, for the hole that's left in ours.
"No regrets" I think he would say.
If you could ask him today.
His famous line, he liked to say
"Its good to be King, but it's great to be Os"
He'd always flex his muscles when he said that,
and flash that stupid grin.
Some disliked this zest for life of his,
maybe jealous that they didn't love their own lives
as much as he did his.
But, it's they who lost out by doing that
Never learning what made him so special,
what brought us all here today.
He loved his image that he had created
a Viking, tough and mean.
But beneath that image,
the real man wasn't really that tough,
and he definitely wasn't that mean.
A hot bath, a book and a beer.
and the cat curled up beside him.
That's how the tough guy Craig
Like to spend an evening.
Not quite the viking he wanted us to see
He generocity was endless,
of time and effort, and of beer
How many of us met him for the first time
when he said
"Want a Beer?"
I have no idea, how many beers we still owe him today.
Give it a thought and remember.
Then drink them to him some time.
I think he would like that.
Craig above all else, was a great big kid.
From supersoakers to waterballoons
from pranks to that finger under the nose thing he did.
No one was safe not friend or foe.
Not even total strangers.
All were fair game to him.
But he brought out the kid in all of us,
and made it fun to play.
But he had to win, when all was said and done.
"I'm perfectly willing to escalate this to the point,
where you don't want to play anymore"
Usually grabbing a bigger, heavier, more dangerous toy.
He was always happy then. When we let him win.
I think it was his childish streak, that made him so loved
Especially kids and dogs. He was always their favourite.
He always had time for them, to play or rough house.
I think that's my favourite image of him
Bending down to hug a little girl who just had to say "hello"
Or dropping to his hands and knees
just to get nose to nose with a dog
before the wrestling began.
He was the only person I ever met, who was a hero to those close to him
He inspired people to be stronger, faster and better.
To live life harder and experience more.
To see things as they are, rather than as you want them to be.
People are changed by the friends they keep.
Craig effected everyone close to him
What greater thing can a man do for a friend
Than make him a better person in some way.
Craig changed who I am in so many ways.
For better or worse, I'm stronger having known him.
I can't believe the loss that Nancy must face.
For his parents, brothers and family
I can't believe we have to go on without him.
But he helped give us the strength to do it.
I can't believe that my children will never know him,
or the parts of me that came from him.
And I can't believe, that for all my grief,
the one thing I cannot do,
is really truly believe
that Craig is really gone
"10 foot tall and bulletproof." And so much very more.