My best little friend…

My best little friend…

I hate to do this to you all yet again, but we lost another incredible friend this past week. This year has not been kind to us.

On Sunday, Joe Crawford, a devastatingly handsome, funny, and loving man—my best friend and boyfriend for over 3 years, lost his life hiking and fishing with a friend by Baker Lake in Washington. It’s important to talk about Joe here, because he was Holland’s first and most steadfast supporter. This is hard for me to write, and I’m still overwhelmingly shaky and emotional, but I want you all to know about Joe and help me keep his memory alive with lots of love—because that’s what he deserves. Same as Beau and same as Janin.

Joe was there the first time I saw what now is Holland’s home. He picked it out. There were four spaces housed on the location—and we were given a choice, and he chose our space, and the rest, as you know, is history.

Before Holland even had a name, Joe was writing letters and helping us obtain sound and lighting equipment. Joe secured Holland’s first major donation, a PA from Microsoft. We were supposed to drive it from Seattle to Reno in the next couple weeks.

Two weeks ago he told me to send him Holland stickers to put on his new rock climbing helmet. He loved all things related to the outdoors and to bike riding—and I know those of you who met him saw a kindred spirit. I was glad he got to spend some time here and to get to know this area—we tubed down the Truckee River, jumped off rocks in Tahoe, drank beer in Virginia City, stayed in Truckee, had tacos at Pnuematic, drinks at Polo Lounge. And my little brother is still fond of asking, “Where Joe?” To which he learned how to respond to his own question with “Tea-attle” for Seattle.

Joe was an incredible musician, a talented writer, a fierce and loyal friend, and excelled everything he did. Skiing was the one thing I could still beat him in, but he was gaining on me quickly. And he only started last year. He made me laugh and kept me calm—he was my rock, and I miss him.

He was going to join us on April 28th for the Grand Opening, and I know he’ll still be there with us—and I know he’s proud of us. A friend told me yesterday to breathe him into my organs and to keep him alive and keep him with me and I can’t think of a better way to maneuver this difficult path. We can do the same with Beau and Janin, and all the loved ones we’ve lost.

I know we don’t need any more reminders, but if there is any question in any of your minds any more of how truly precious life is—stamp it out. We all need to love each other and take care of each other, and we need to tell our people how much they mean to us. And most importantly, we need to live our lives and do all those things we talk about doing and be fearless and confident and full of hope and energy and love. Life is too short to do it any other way.

I love you Joe.