William Clarke Lindley, Jr. (1984-2014)
I don’t remember why I felt compelled to send you that poem or those words one October night a couple years back. But I found them today searching for emails you had sent me (scrounging for small comforts and the illusion of something that lasts). It was nestled amongst your messages, each brimming with passion for whatever its subject: books, learning, teaching, Appalachia, mountains, good food, great friends, and that fragile thing called life. This poem is exactly what I needed to find, and even though I was the one who sent it then, it still feels like a gift from you, today.
Thank you for the many shared meals, beers, laughs, and tears. You were such a comfort to me when Jared died, and I keep waiting for you to show up again now to wipe my tears, to offer me milk, to tell me “there is no such thing as lost.”
Rest easy, buddy. And don’t worry about the whole fracking thing. We’ll keep fighting the good fight, in your name and in your honor. And because—as you led by example with the way you lived your life—it’s just the right thing to do.
I miss you, William. Thank you for so much.