loss and a loss for words

Sometimes the words just don't come, no matter how hard you try.
After three weeks of running non-stop, working every day from sunrise to sometime past midnight,
still feeling behind and trying to plot your next move,
news hits you square in the face and takes your breath away.

We've been blessed to work with some of the most extraordinary couples.
Daniel and Logan were no different.
I first met Daniel in 2006 when I taught photography at the School of Journalism & Communication
at Southern Adventist University.
Daniel always talked about snowboarding and wakeboarding
and all those other extreme sports that I'm not cool enough to do.
But every week he'd stay after class and we'd spend 15-20 minutes just talking about life,
school, business, and photography.
He was such a nice guy. So easy to talk to. An instant friend.
Shortly after our time together in class, doctors located a tumor on Daniel's brain.
But his determination and strength prevailed.
His beautiful and sweet lady Logan battled right along with him.

Sometime a year later or so, I bumped into Daniel and Logan on a flight from Orlando to Chattanooga.
It was an empty flight and I had two open seats next to me.
So the three of us sat together and I listened to the sweet story
of how they had just gotten engaged the night before.
Listen up guys, there aren't many who did it better than Daniel!

A couple months later they asked us to photograph their wedding in Asheville, NC.
Daniel was a handsome groom and Logan was one of the loveliest and most graceful brides I have ever seen.
A striking couple, even more beautiful on the inside than the outside.

When they married Daniel had a clean bill of health.
But his future was uncertain.
Over the next couple years they spent time living and working in Las Vegas and Utah,
enjoying the outdoors and living life to the fullest.
Daniel touched base from time to time via email and we enjoyed following their travels.

Some time ago Daniel's cancer came back, and this time with a vengeance.
Daniel and Logan were determined to beat it trying a host of natural treatments
coupled with every advancement of modern medicine available.
Daniel kept a blog journaling his experience.
He prayed for strength for his wife and family.
And he always held out hope that his public fight would increase awareness
and inspire others to join him in the fight against this terrible disease.

Yesterday Daniel was in the ICU.
And tonight we heard that he went to sleep.
What do you say?
What do you do?

Our prayers are with Logan, as well as Daniel's parents, brothers, and sister.
What a difficult time.
May God grant them peace and comfort and hope for tomorrow.
And may the love and prayers of friends and family bring them even just a moderate measure of comfort.


Unknown said...

Hi Garrett, thanks for this tribute-it just hit me that this is real and has happened. Daniel was such a phenomenal person and lived fearlessly. After he got sick, I interviewed him in depth about what it was like living with brain cancer, and he said that he had never lived so deeply and it rearranged his entire life passions and priorities.

I want to live fearlessly like Daniel.

Lorna Hood said...

What a beautiful tribute. I don't know you, I don't know this lovely couple, I just stumbled upon this blog and am leaving a comment through tear filled eyes. What a beautiful couple, and what a great friend you are to highlight their special love. God Bless Logan and Daniel's families.