Thursday, June 28, 2012

Gone Fishin'

As summer is in full swing now, I can't help but think about how much Chris loved to spend time in the mountains fishing and camping with the family. I remember many many fishing trips together.  I was thinking this week about the time when he came home from his mission on a medical leave.  After his surgery and recovery he still had to wait a while before going back to his mission.  So to pass the time we went up to Trial Lake for a week.  I know he would of rather been on  his mission but I sure was glad to have someone else to be  with.  I became an only child when Kim got married and Chris and Carrey left on their missions all within a month. The first fish I catch this summer will be in honor of you buddy.  Gone fishin'

Monday, June 18, 2012

Chris' Masks

Any of you who ever visited Chris at his apartment know what an adventure his apartment was.  It was like going into a museum.  The walls were decorated with beautifully framed photos, most of which he matted and framed himself. The decor was collected from all around the country and world.  However, on the back wall of his living room hung a collection of masks collected from around the world.  Some of them he collected himself, some were brought back by friends from exotic places and some he purchased online.  As I moved into a new house this week I was looking at the mask I got from Chris and was thinking what a classy guy he was.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

I owe Elder Beers

I am so saddened to learn of the death of my missionary companion, Elder Beers. I was just looking on Facebook to renew our friendship when I discovered this shocking news.

Elder Beers was one of the hardest working companions I ever had. He was transferred into Millville, NJ and the first thing he did was put up some pictures of Joseph Smith on the bedroom walls. He taught me to love the Prophet Joseph Smith. He treated him like a true hero. He always compared what he was doing to what the Prophet would do. He would tell me all kinds of Joseph Smith stories. He knew them all. He had other Book of Mormon pictures that he put up on the wall. Since then, I've started my own wall of spiritual heroes.

He loved his family and talked about them all time. Once I said, "Holy Cow" and he said it's a good thing his mother didn't hear me say that and that I shouldn't use the word "holy" lightly. I still use the word "holy" but I have a new respect for my mother because I could see the deep respect he had for his.

When we went tracting, he would always button up his outer suit coat and would swing his arms in a marching style to keep up with me (I was taller). Walking with him at my side I felt like a true servant of God. I knew he knew it too.

I was his companion when he got really sick. He kept asking me why God was giving him this illness. I was never happier with a sick companion in my life. We still made phone calls and did everything we could although homebound. His illness progressed to the point that he had to go home briefly. But he came back.

It hasn't always been easy since my mission. And time and time again I've been able to take emotional and spiritual strength from the rich memories I had with Elder Beers.

I had the impression many times since my mission to reconnect with Chris. Now, I'm left with that empty feeling of guilt that maybe I could have done more to support Chris.

My only hope is that Christ died for Chris and Chris is not really dead. He lives on, and so will I. One day I can face Chris and tell him that I'm sorry that I didn't do more to re-connect. That he gave me so much and I returned so little. That his life and death rekindled a fire in me to share more with those who have touched my life. Then after I receive his forgiveness (because Chris would do that for me), we'll go tracting together just like old times. Only this time, we'll be tracting with the Prophet Joseph Smith. Just the three of us.

I can do more to re-connect and support those who have built me up to where I am today. I promise to do that, Chris. I'm sorry. Gary Fales.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Chris and Cheetah

Everyone who knew Chris, knew he loved his cats dearly.  From his first cat Jade to his beloved Cheetah.  This picture was taken when he went to Las Vegas to pick up Cheetah from a specialty cat breeder. Chris' cats always received the finest food, medical treatments and especially his love.