Five years ago I met a young and talented writer, Andrew Revels. He is one of those people who can crank out a novel in a few weeks, and his first draft is nearly perfect without editing. He has such a knack for story telling that his characters jump off the page.
Andrew has a ready, slow smile with a twinkle in his eye. He is always up for a gag and usually one of the instigators. He has a very strong sense of family, and community. He gave aspiring artists a boost with his online interviews.
He loves Halloween and planned to marry this October with the guests in costume. I still haven't sorted my costume.
He is just a year or two older than my oldest kid, so one day I wrote to him that he would understand when he was older. Within minutes he sent me a poem, "I Know What It's Like." I realized that he was right, he was old beyond his years.
This morning I woke to an email from Andrew's mom.
I am so sorry to inform you that my son, Andrew Revels died unexpectedly today, Saturday July 31, 2010. He was out on a boat with some friends and was being pulled on a wakeboard and fell off. He tried swimming back to the boat and was pulled underneath a barge on the river here in Wisconsin. I wanted to thank you for all your input and help mentoring Andy and just know that he thought the world of you. Thank you again and I am so sorry to have to deliver such tragic news. Laura Revels Stedman (his mom)
Andrew died like he lived, swimming with all his might. Please take a moment to follow the links and meet this incredible young man, my friend, Andrew Revels.
Andrew at the blog party: http://nadinelaman.blogspot.com/2009/08/party-with-andrew-revels.html
From Andrew's website: http://www.planet-revels.com/id41.html
Andrew talking about his books: http://www.planet-revels.com/id38.html
Here is the link that was added to the comments: http://lacrossetribune.com/news/local/article_185b35aa-9d29-11df-9c15-001cc4c002e0.html
Andrew left a gentle footprint on my heart.
A note from Andrew's mom.
I just want to say again what an influence you had in my son's short life. He truly admired you. Without your help and support he wouldn't have gotten as far as he had in his career. He definitely would have made it on his own, but knowing you speeded things up.
He surely touched a lot of people. At his celebration of life on Thursday we had to end the receiving line because of time constraints. The funeral parlor was completely packed full with people crammed into every nook and cranny and the whole front lawn outside. Even though they couldn't hear anything out there they wouldn't leave. The funeral director told us he wouldn't be surprised if 700 people didn't attend. Amazing, huh?
I have just started to go through some of Andy's things and these two quotes of yours were in the first box.
There are 24 hours in a day. What we do with each hour ....defines us.
It isn't how long one lives, it is how wide that really matters. How true.
Have you checked out his facebook page or planet-revels lately? Or anything associated with him. I am getting so many e-mails and facebook messages that my computer can't keep up.
There are many benefits and concerts and fundraiser's in the works coming up, all either in his memory, in his name or for his benefit. It's mind boggling.
On Aug. 28th, there is a concert with a lot of the bands he interview and some he hadn't got to yet. So far there's 7 of them and more offers keep coming in. They are all donating their time. They will be selling t-shirts, live long, live strong wristbands, a silent auction and much more.
The proceeds for that will go to Juvenile Diabetes. Another benefit will be for the family to help out with costs. Another one will donate a scholarship to a young author. (He so would approve of that one)
We are going to keep Hoops for Hope alive and already have had so many volunteers. I really don't know how he kept up with all he was involved in. It's very comforting to know that he will never be forgotten.
Once again Nadine, I want to thank you for all you did for my son. He truly loved you.
His very proud mom,