A man named Noah passed away today in Missoula, Montana. He and I had gone to school together for years, but had never been particularly close. He was an amazing guy, from what I knew of him, and was one of the upperclassmen that always went out of his way in high school to say hi to the younger kids by name. Stuff like that was always a huge deal to me.
One of the incredible things about small towns is the strength of the community. I heard about Noah’s death from 3 different people all over the country this morning in a matter of hours. This is testament to how many lives he touched and what an integral part of the community he was.
It’s pretty incredible to google his name and see how many videos, articles, and blog postings come up (about him, too. Not some celebrity with the same name). There will be another article in the city paper tomorrow about what an amazing person he was, but today I read this one from last month. And here is my favorite part:
He taught us that, if by being true to ourselves, we wind up looking silly, so be it.
He taught us that the best possible target for poking fun is ourselves.
He taught us, Liston said, the value of human warmth, of friendship, of devotion, of humility. He also taught us that sometimes a bit of inappropriateness makes a point perfectly.
“What he really taught was that it’s OK to be ourselves,” Liston said.
At the end of Noah’s graduation of one, the speaker closed with one of the nicest things anyone may have ever said; “May you experience more love than you thought possible.”