My Words, Your Voice
"With your approval, I FEEL ANOTHER READ COMING ON!"
It was what Chris said to me in the last email I had ever gotten from him. He had just come home from the hospital that evening, and went straight to the stories to catch up on the newest edition of "My Only Escape"....his all time favorite. He told me how happy he was with it, how overjoyed he was that a new chapter was posted, and how he couldn't wait to get back into the studio to do another on air recording of the rest of the story.
Two days later...he was gone.
Chris Conklin. Until the day I die, that name is always going to mean something special to me. It's always going to mean something special to this website too. He came to me at a time when I was feeling really down, when I truly needed an angel to be there to catch me as I was falling sooo fast. It was a random email encounter, and he had found the story, and fate took it from there. He was a good friend, and I miss him more than you know. I wish I had more time to thank him, I wish I knew how to say it if ever given the opportunity. But again, as with my angel, or Justin Case, or Ed W., or Justin the Okie, and others that we as a family online have lost along the way...I'm left to say goodbye after the fact. Hoping that this tribute will somehow get to you, and you'll know that you were loved.
Chris is responsible for "My Only Escape" being read on the radio overseas in Australia. He is also the sole reason that the cd set is available to anyone who wants to purchase one. When you listen to the cd...that's his voice you're hearing, and it is his final performance for that station. A performance he gave...to me...for free. It was his project, it was his idea, and he did it all without asking for a single penny. Never once. His only concern was that I liked and appreciated his read of the story, which is, in my opinion, one of the most emotional reads I've ever heard. It's impossible to think that he was able to translate the words of that story into something so moving. You owned those words the second you set your voice to them, accent and all, and I want you to know that you are forever immortalized in the story you loved best. Just as the rest of this series will be completed to celebrate the life you gave to it. I know you'll be reading....right over my shoulder.
I am honored, and blessed, to have had him take an interest in that series the way that he did. Just as I was blessed to have his friendship become a part of my life. If only for a little while. It's because of him, that I truly had the opportunity to do something really amazing, and he was able to turn my pain into one of my greatest shining moments. I hope that I was able to bring at least a FRACTION of that joy and that triumph to your life too.
So, this tribute is here for Chris Conklin. To say thank you. Thank you for believing in me when I really didn't have the strength to believe in myself. Thank you for giving me enough of your heart to keep me strong when all I wanted to do was fade away. Thank you for the love and the support that you showed to so many Shackers on the forums. Thank you for the incredible work you did with the story, I've never been more proud of anything I've written...thanks to you. Thank you for the picture you sent me of you and your 'Duckie', I'm sure you're both wiggling your tails together somewhere up there. :) Thank you for the time, for the heart, for the effort, for the dedication. Most important of all...thank you for taking that extra step, to extend some of your neverending light to those of us who need it from time to time. You were a special person, and I won't forget that. For someone who lived on the other side of the planet, you certainly touched my life, as well as all the others who were lucky enough to know you. When we meet again...expect a hug, my friend.
Goodbye Chris. We at the Shack salute you.
This page was last updated on February 11, 2016.