A Father, Husband, Colleague Taken Too Soon

A tough thing you learn at the beginning of your career is that sometimes, you need to move on from a job you may still love, may still be good at, may still have a lot to learn from. For whatever they are, the reasons why you need to leave may outweigh the reasons you should stay. And that is okay. Tough, but okay.

A second tough thing you learn at the beginning of your career is that when you leave these jobs, you leave behind the people who may have been instrumental in staying in the first place. The people who made being away from your family or own personal pursuits for 40 hours a week enjoyable, the people who pushed you to question norms and evolve your thinking, the people who genuinely took pride and joy in your successes and urged you to continue striving for excellence.

And while that is still okay, it’s even tougher. Even though those people know it’s okay, too.

some of the most creative yet most ratchet MOFOs on the digital marketing scene circa 2008

A third tough thing is learning that years after leaving and probably doing a less-than-stellar job keeping it touch like you should have because “life happened” and pride got in the way, one of these people were stolen away much too soon in the most senseless of ways.

I learned this last lesson this past Sunday, and I still cannot believe how much dimmer this world is without Craig Tippit.

Now Playing: “Pour Out A Little Liquor” by 2Pac

I remember first meeting Craig, and it wasn’t this momentous, epic thing necessarily. But that was Craig, whose M.O. was to quietly observe his environment and slowly but surely win you over with topics of conversation he knew you’d find valuable, such as music ministry – which we quickly learned we both shared in common. Both Craig and I were vocalists – he was an amazing tenor – and I sang with/ directed various groups at my home church as well. And when we weren’t talking about music ministry, we were talking about poop.

Man, how both Craig and I loved a good poop joke.

Over the weekend, the Houston Chronicle reported that a 25-year-old driver deliberately drove into Craig’s training group in Waller County during a training ride:

When Craig Randall Tippit, 37, left his home Saturday to train in Waller County for an upcoming triathlon, his wife Stephanie said it felt like any other weekend when he’d leave for what’s usually an uneventful bike ride.

Craig, a father of two young boys and native Houstonian, was preparing for an Ironman triathlon this April.

“He loved to ride,” Stephanie said.

On Saturday, he and dozens of other bicyclists were in Waller County training for the BP MS150 and other competitions. The ride quickly turned tragic when Victor Kevin Tome, 25, allegedly plowed through the cyclists head on in a blue Dodge Stratus.

Tippit died at the scene along with 48-year-old Keri Blanchard Guillory, who was also training.

Since Craig was a much better person than I was, he’d want people to send positive thoughts to help this young man with whatever demons he’s fighting that would make him want to do something so terrible, so senseless.

Something that leaves a good, sweet woman a widow.
Something that leaves two beautiful, little boys without a father.
Something that will leave this young family with a ton of questions of how the future is going to be, what stability will look like with the main provider gone (because every 37-year-old could have always had more, and what Iron Man worries about death?).

In celebration of a man who simply finished the race a little bit ahead of us. RIP Craig. You will be missed.

He probably would have made some sort of sarcastic little comment with a sly little side smile, but that is what he ultimately would have wanted everyone to do.

Like I said, Craig was a much better person than I was, and I personally want to see this young man answer for this ugliness he brought into this world. But I shall bite my tongue and trust the will of the same God that Craig believed in, and instead implore everyone who ever had a dream, a passion for a hobby other people could never do, a gusto for life, and an amazing family that supported you through it all – please help how you can. This could’ve been anyone. Craig was doing what he loved and had done a million times before. And it all happened in the blink of an eye.

Lots of love, light, and prayers to the Tippit family. On behalf of the interactive marketing community and anyone who had the pleasure of working with Craig, we are here… and always will be. Much love.