I want to take you back to 2011. We were freshman at Harding, our college careers promising. Harrison was gaining popularity for his spot-on impersonations, Hayley, much like myself, was busy making friends and studying. We lost a close friend, Ty Osman, that year. We all began to understand life, as we knew it, could change quickly. We also learned what it was like to lose, if we hadn’t already.
Over the next 4 years, we all went overseas, or didn’t. We became active members of campus life at Harding. We welcomed underclassmen into our social clubs and lives. We got married or engaged or stayed single. We cultivated our friendships. We kept studying.
Then we graduated. And college was over. And now life was promising. We all looked for jobs or a grad school that would accept us.
And some of us went to Jamestown, New York for a wedding. Zach and Alaina were worth the long drive. Plus, we got to go to Niagara Falls. Once again, promising.
We spent the day exploring, rehearsed the wedding, and retired to Alaina’s family home for pizza and a bonfire: the best kind of wedding preparation. Most of the guys took turns riding the four-wheeler, because there was open land and a four-wheeler and they are guys. Harrison was content to get further acquainted with his camera and capture the moments. And then he decided to record a ride on the four-wheeler with Zach.
I sat to the side of the fire pit, talking with Reid, my fiancé. Then we saw everyone else start running and heard a “Help” from the distance. We took off running too.
Harrison was breathing, if not snoring, and his pulse was strong. That was a comfort to me. His heart and his lungs were intact, and that is promising. Hayley arrived a few minutes later, and I was suddenly an outsider in an intimate moment, kneeling beside Harrison as his wife looked over the edge of the ravine and saw him for the first time. I didn’t know what to say, so I told Hayley about the pulse and breaths and told her it was going to be okay.
Since then, as you may know, there have been countless generous acts by groups and individuals. SADCo. wants to help, too. The best way we could think of is to give all cash tips to the Waldrons.
See, back in 2011, one of the friends Hayley made was Slader Marshall. I know this because I once heard Slader tell a friend that if Knights had not queened Hayley, he was going to push for her to be queened by TNT. (It’s a Harding thing, just know it was an honor, and a compliment to Hayley.) I don’t think I was supposed to hear that conversation.
Hayley and Harrison are young, and their life is promising. But they also need the support of their communities, so please join us as we do our small part to help them. Throw some cash in the tip jar and say a prayer for Harrison.
-- Natalie Stafford