I'm guessing six months have passed since hearing the name Steve Fugate. I'm not sure who told me but I remember them saying that he was this super inspirational guy who was walking back and forth across the country and was doing it because of the death of his children.
Maybe it did register, but honestly I really don't think it did. Not because I don't care, my only explanation is that my own life has been so darn busy. Traveling, teaching, renovating, life. A guy named Steve is walking across the country, that is amazing but...
As Steve has been making his way across Kansas, I had been encouraged to reach out to him and say hello. So I did. Within 24 hours he messaged me back with exactly the kind words I expected. I went about my day.
Then I read on his FB page he's making his way west, he's very close. Life, teaching, West 17th, do I really have the time? It nagged at me, not because I don't believe in his mission, just because I struggle to keep my own mission moving forward.
Today he was due south of Hays, KS. I had to teach and we had a department meeting, leave the school at 5 or later, drive, mannnnnnnnnn!! Regardless of the reasons not to go, something nagged at me from within.
So I walked into my dept. chairs office and said, "hey, I need to do something today at 2:30 and I'm going to miss the meeting". He replied with "you're a grown man, do what you need". I shared where I was going and that I did, head south to highway 56 with only two green PowerAde and a nervous stomach.
It didn't take me long at all to find Steve marching west. I pull up and honestly, tears were ready to burst from my face as he walked up to me. It could have just as easily been me pulling that load, in a sense we all pull that load.
With a grin he said, "now who are you? I meet soooo many people". I chuckled as this is exactly how I had hoped it would go. I replied with a smile, "I'm Kris Munsch from Hays, the birdhouse guy". He instantly stopped and smiled, "I remember you". We walked on to my pickup, he dropped his stuff, grabbed a cold drink and we began to talk.
It was like we had simply not seen each other for years and picked up right where we had left off, although we had never met. So easily we could have switched places, I get it. I know what drives him, what gives him the inner peace to say it the way it is and not give one hoot of an owl's ass what others think.
We cussed and dicussed. Laugh?? Till I had tears running down my cheeks. We talked about anything and everything, from teaching to teens, it was all out on the table. We both offered each other different perspectives on life, love, marriage and kids. On death, surviving, suicide, speaking and dropping the f-bomb when it's really needed.
Two hours we sat and talked, it felt like two minutes. He did several things for me and didn't even realize it. One, he validated my belief in self. Meaning that the fight is worth the blood, sweat and tears. Two, he gave me the courage to even stand taller for what I believe. To say it because I believe it, if you don't, that's perfectly fine. And third, it doesn't take magic, millions of dollars or luck to change the world.
Steve is doing it because he's passionate, hard working and will do what it takes to get the job done. We are brothers from different mothers. If you don't know this man or his story, please take a moment to read about him. If you want to see life from a different perspective, go see him. www.lovelifewalk.com or look him up on FB
Now, I will finish with what turned out to be one of the best parts. I've NEVER had a speeding ticket in my life, that is until today. I couldn't wait to get there. FUCK!!
Be safe and well friends, but most importantly, be yourself. If you're greiving the loss of anything, don't let anyone tell you how to do it.